Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The Skagit Flats is one of the best places in Western Washington for birdwatching. Right now thousands of snow geese, trumpeter swans, tundra swans and a myriad of other avian critters are out and about on the farms, delta, and islands in the Skagit Valley. One of my favorite places for viewing them-and a great place to take an easy hike too is at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Skagit Bay Estuary Unit. Managed primarily as habitat for game birds and providing hunters with public land to exercise their pursuit-these lands are supported through hunting and fishing license sales. For non-hunters a vehicle permit pass can be purchased allowing unlimited access to this property and scores of other ones across the state. The cost? $10.95 for the year. Well worth it for purchasing and protecting public land. And I'd gladly pay $10.95 or more to support my state parks. If tax revenues can't support these gems, then user fees must take their place. Make the fee fair and equitable and get that money to our ailing park system ASAP!