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About Twispted

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  • Birthday 02/09/1971
  1. Kiss my Discovery Pass

    I didn't mean to incite a riotous spray-fest. Really.
  2. Kiss my Discovery Pass

    Twispted Reality [Redux] Kiss my pass By Patrick Hannigan “In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). The author of Don Quixote might well have been describing any effort to understand or comply with the current system of passes, permits, stickers and decals required to access the public lands that make up 90 percent of the Methow. Figuring out where who must purchase what permissions to explore which state and federal acreages in the valley is a quixotic task wrapped up in a Gordian knot of red tape. To help clarify the situation, following are answers to a few frequently asked questions. My family would like to go for a hike and maybe jump in a lake this Fourth of July weekend – what passes do I need to buy? It’s a simple three-step process. First, determine which state or federal agency manages the public lands you might visit: the USFS, DFW, DNR, BLM, NPS, BPA, WASF, WASPRC or the USWAKLUSTRFUCD. Second, purchase an appropriate passel of passes such as the Northwest Forest Pass ($30), the America the Beautiful Pass ($80), the Washington and Oregon Recreation Pass ($100), the Interagency VIP Pass ($230), the Wild Lands Day Pass ($50) and the Fish and Wildlife Vehicle Access Pass ($12). Third, have fun! What’s this new “Discovery Pass” I’ve heard rumors about? Beginning this weekend you need one of those, too. The “Discovery Pass” allows you to enjoy all of the parks, lakes, rivers, wildlife areas, trails, trailheads, roads, pullouts and pit toilets (BYOTP) managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. If you have a family, you’ll need two or more passes because they are not transferable. Note: the $30 “Discovery Pass” actually costs $35 after state-contracted corporate vendors get their cut. What if I don’t get one? The fine for accessing state lands without the pass is $99 for first-time offenders. Three-time scofflaws would be subject to Washington’s “Three Strikes” law and receive a life sentence in prison. Are they actually going to enforce this? Vicki Pain, “Discovery Pass” spokeswoman, said that the law would be vigorously and ruthlessly enforced as soon as it goes into effect this Friday (July 1) at 12:01 a.m. “Nobody really knows about the new ‘Discovery Pass,’ so we expect to issue around $1.5 million in citations statewide during our public education campaign over the Fourth of July holiday,” said Pain. “At $99 a pop we can really jumpstart this program – it’s going to be like shooting taxpayers in a barrel.” Where can I buy a “Discovery Pass”? That’s part of the mystery. You can’t actually buy a pass at most of the places they are required, such as Big Valley Ranch, Beaver Creek, Bear Creek, Pipestone Canyon, Halterman’s Hole, Patterson Lake, Twin Lakes and 117 other locations in the Methow. However, they are available online (allow five to 10 business days for shipping) or at convenient local retailers such as Walmart in Omak. What’s up with the “Activity Decals”? “Activity Decals” are stickers one must purchase in addition to the “Discovery Pass” in order to participate in different recreational activities on state lands. Presently, decals are required for hiking, biking, swimming, picnicking, inner-tubing and watching wildlife. Each activity decal costs an additional $5 per person per day. I can’t afford all these passes – can I earn one by volunteering? Yes you can! All it takes to earn a Discovery Pass is one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Enforcement volunteers receive a citation book, a plastic badge, a brown shirt and a free day pass once they have written at least 10 tickets to non-compliants. Why do I need to pay to access state taxpayer-owned lands? That’s a simple question with lots of complicated answers, son. Just buy one. Note: This piece appeared in the June 29 edition of the Methow Valley News.