OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is seeking public comments on a draft statewide recreation and conservation plan.
The plan is meant to guide decision-makers when they prioritize recreation and conservation investments during the next 6 years. The plan includes four priorities, with more than 30 actions to implement them.
“This plan provides the guiding principles we will use to shape grant programs and priorities,” said Megan Duffy, director of the office. “The plan was based on what people around the state told us was important to them and where more attention needed to be paid. Recreation funding always is limited and we hope this plan will help decision-makers make the most strategic investments possible.”
Specifically, the plan sets the following four priorities:
· Provide meaningful access to outdoor recreation for all.
· Protect natural and cultural resources while managing increasing demand.
· Demonstrate the essential nature of parks, natural areas and recreation infrastructure.
· Support healthy, adaptable and connected communities.
The Recreation and Conservation Office developed this plan during 18 months with the help of two planning advisory committees represented by state, local, and federal land managers and the public. The office also conducted five public surveys to gather input on the plan’s focus areas and priorities.
The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board will consider adopting the final plan at its Jan. 24-25 meeting. The final plan then will be sent to the Governor’s Office for approval before being submitted to the National Park Service. The plan is required to continue to receive funding from the National Park Service through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. That funding is passed on to local communities to build parks, trails and other outdoor recreation facilities and to conserve wildlife habitat.
Comments must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m., Dec. 18. Comments may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (Please use “State Recreation and Conservation Plan” in the subject line) or submitted though an online survey.