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Just as Washington state gets set to charge for access to state parks, neighboring British Columbia makes all provincial parks free

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on May 4, 2011 at 8:24 am |
May 4, 2011 9:23 am

Our Jeffrey Mayor writes today about the pending charge for access to Washington state parks, part of the budget-balancing efforts in Olympia.

Beginning in July, visitors might have to pay to stroll the beach at Kopachuck State Park, hike to the top of Mount Si or use the state boat launch on Black Lake outside of Tumwater…The bill, awaiting a decision by Gov. Chris Gregoire, sets the cost of the pass at $10 a day or $30 a year per vehicle. The pass is expected to generate $64 million to $72 million every two years.

The Peninsula Daily News had a story Tuesday on the new move by British Columbia to remove its parking meters from provincial parks. It is a move to increase use of the province’s parks system and attract tourists.

“The parking meters are coming out and parking will be free, effective immediately, so that British Columbia’s parks are even more welcoming for families,” said (B.C. Premier Christy) Clark, as she launched B.C. Parks centennial celebrations.

“Our parks not only contribute to a healthy lifestyle and protect our environment, they are important to our economy. More park visitors mean more tourism dollars and more jobs for rural British Columbians and we want to eliminate any barriers to using the parks.”

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