Monday, February 06, 2006

The State of our Parks
I just don't understand people's priorities
There was a recent article in the Seattle Times about many people no longer visiting Washington State Parks since the Parks Department enacted a day use fee of $5.00. Of course if you are like me, you purchase an annual pass for $50 for unlimited visitation to all of our great state parks.
The Washington State Legislature never seems to come short of finding funding for state employee raises, entitlements, various welfare programs-stadiums for billionaires and other questionable uses for our tax dollars. But state parks? Yeah right! Under almost 20 years of Democrat governors and a mostly leaning Democrat legislature-the state has actually lost parks! I thought the Dems cared about our environment. I don't get it! So, the state parks department is forced to collect fees to keep our parks open-parks available for all Washington citizens-rich or poor-urban or rural-and guess what? A lot people don't like the fees-they won't pay. Of course many of these park shunners don't even think twice about spending $4 for a coffee (or what is supposed to be one), $9 to watch Hollywood's latest piece of garbage, God-knows what to see the Mariners or the Seahawks (help out those millionaire athletes!) and don't blink to fill-up their SUVs. Again-I don't get it! Where are our priorities? Where are our values? We have one of the finest park systems in the nation here in Washington-and it is bad enough that our legislators won't fund them-but the people too! The people they were established for? I suppose the $5 is better spent in a casino than a day hiking, kayaking, bird-watching-or just enjoying nature. huh?
I just don't get it!

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