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Senate votes to make parks & lands, fishing & hunting more expensive

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on April 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
April 20, 2011 3:02 pm

The Senate voted today to raise the cost of fishing and hunting licenses and add new fees on everyone who drives to state parks, state forests or other state lands.

The bills, which now go to the House, also cut general-fund support for Washington’s natural resource agencies. They move them toward being funded mainly by users, not by taxpayers.

The bipartisan votes of support for SB 5622 and and SB 5385 were no surprise, since both are built into the Senate budget and have agreement from a number of groups of recreationalists.

The parks users, fishermen and hunters who support paying more do so because of worries that otherwise the budget cuts will still go through and will be big enough to close state lands, shut down fish hatcheries and lay off enforcement officers.

The amounts of the proposed hunting and fishing license hikes vary depending on the activity and the type of game and can be seen here. The parks passes would cost $30 a year, and drivers who don’t get them would pay a $10 one-day parking fee.

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