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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 3, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Washington trails: Still more climbing to do to improve trails

The mailbox atop Mailbox Peak is filled with messages and memorabilia left by hikers proud to have made it to the summit. (Stew Sowers)

It’s been a long climb up Mailbox Peak, but last weekend’s trailhead opening does not mark the end of our journey [“Easier hike delivered to the top of popular Mailbox Peak,” Local News, Sept. 26].

The fourth and final section of the trail and dozens of other trails still needs funding. Our state legislators have an opportunity to change that. Grants from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) could complete this and other projects.

Mailbox Peak is in the lineup with more than 200 projects across the state in need of grant funding that will would only be ensured if our elected leaders choose to prioritize a high level of funding for the WWRP.

These projects are competitively ranked so only the best projects receive funding — and Mailbox Peak is one of those top projects, as it was ranked fourth out of all State Lands Development projects.

To fund just half of these projects, the WWRP needs $97 million in the capital construction budget. This might sound like a big sum, but, as the economy recovers, these projects will only get more expensive.

Now is the prime time to invest in the outdoors so we don’t get stuck paying more for less later. We need our elected leaders to join us on this trail.

Karen Daubert, executive director of Washington Trails Association

Comments | More in Recreation | Topics: hiking, Karen Daubert, Mailbox Peak

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