March 26, 2013 at 3:39 PM
State park system celebrates 100th anniversary amid funding cuts
Disconnect between government and people
Fact: State parks are underfunded because the Legislature chooses to underfund them [“Budget-starved parks mark grim centennial,” page one, March 24]. Same thing with K-24 (or 2-23), roads and many other functions that are highly visible and highly desirable.
Our elected officials behave as though they think the public is either inattentive or stupid. We’re both. We keep sending them back to Olympia. And so we get what we deserve.
Before fees were charged, Flaming Geyser State Park, near my home, was jammed on summer evenings and weekends. Now it’s deserted. To be blunt, many of the folks who used it looked like they didn’t have the means to take a trip to Disneyland. Now where can they go?
Open parks serve the entire range of the population. By charging a relatively stiff fee, the state erected a barrier to the more needy among us. It’s another example of unintended consequences by government.
–George Coulbourn, Black Diamond
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