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PLB Legislature introduced in WA Legislature


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Maybe you should get some legislation in place requiring fat fucks like him to run 10 miles per day


i think that is the end of the discussion. a hell of an idea. can you imagine the fat-wailing you'd hear if something like that got proposed.. it would be deafening (like the feedback obese people's body's give them that they ignore).

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Let's not bash our state elected officials. They work very long hours for meager pay. Don't believe me? Then go down and sit in the sessions. Most are open. If you don't like what they're doing write them or run for election yourself.


Maybe someone here can draft a letter that we can all copy and paste into out emails. Any of you verbose types got time to do that instead of spray?

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Let's not bash our state elected officials. They work very long hours for meager pay. Don't believe me? Then go down and sit in the sessions. Most are open. If you don't like what they're doing write them or run for election yourself.


Maybe someone here can draft a letter that we can all copy and paste into out emails. Any of you verbose types got time to do that instead of spray?


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Here is the response I got from Marko himself to my email calling him out on this.



Dear Donnie,




Thanks for the message, it’s always good to hear what issues people are thinking about in our community. I am glad to hear that word is getting out about HB 2619, because I do think that public safety is an important issue. As you well know, thousands of people enjoy Washington’s beautiful mountain terrain every year, and each season, there are well-publicized cases where individuals are killed or seriously injured due to the dangers inherent in this type of recreation. Just a few weeks ago, there was a story from Mt. Hood in Oregon, where a group of hikers was lost for several days.




The search and rescue efforts in these cases can cost thousands of dollars, and I want to make sure that we are using these resources efficiently. Kevin Stoltz, a local small business owner, shared with me a bill that was considered in the Oregon Legislature in 2007 that would help address this situation by requiring climbers in the most dangerous conditions to take along an emergency locator device. These devices are small and easy to carry, and in an emergency, they can help searchers pinpoint emergency situations immediately. They are also cost-effective, simple models can be rented for a few dollars a day, and they can be purchased online from dozens of retailers for around $100.




So, since this seemed like a smarter use of public resources at minor cost to those people that are out enjoying our beautiful scenery, I decided to copy the Oregon bill and propose it here. I am not an expert on mountain climbing, but there will be a lengthy public process to vet this bill, and see if it is the best way to tackle this challenge.




As for the conspiracy theories surrounding the bill, I have often gotten good ideas from local business owners and residents, this bill is no different. I will not personally profit from this proposal, I just think it’s a creative way to keep the public safe, and I think it deserves to be considered.




Thanks again for the message, feel free to write me about this subject or any other one before the Legislature this session!




All my best,







Rep. Marko Liias (D-21)


Vice Chair, House Transportation Committee


Telephone: (360) 786-7972


Toll free: (800) 562-6000


TTY: (800) 635-9993


Office: JLOB 434

Email: liias.marko@leg.wa.gov


Website: http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Liias




Click to sign up for my electronic newsletter or copy and paste if no link appears: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/subscriptions/member.aspx?chamber=h&member=liias



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More on the Brouhaha.


A step in the right direction I beleive. The collective group (Not just Rep. Liass alone, there are after all nine like minded representatives sponsoring this legislative attempt)of the bill's sponsers need to hear from all of us that have some concerns on this matter (and among us, who doesn't).


It is positive, that Rep Liaas (or perhaps a staff member) took the time to respond in a generally cordial manner given the legislative impropriety alleged against him.


I'm curious here, are there any brave proponents of this potential requirement willing to provide a calm. well reasoned argument for why this would benefit our particular group in particular and even the whole of the citizens of the State of Washington as well. Don't worry I personally won't flame you. I can't however, be even vaguely certain that others will restrain themselves (there is a First Amendment to the US Constitution after all).


As I noted yesterday (when I provided all the sponsers names, etc.) let's keep the effort going in a manner that is most likey to be effective!




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Here's what I sent Mr. Liias:


Mr. Liias,


I will start by telling you that I will be an adamant opponent of this bill. I fail to see how this legislation serves any benefit to the general public. Please find attached the Portland Mountain Rescue position paper on the mandatory use of PLB's. This position and the facts contained in it were largely responsible for getting the Oregon bill shelved. I can assure you that their colleagues in this state will support a identical position. I have been involved with Volunteer SAR in this state for 15 years and have associates that have been involved for over 50. Instead of continuing to propagate the myth that these rescues cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars, the facts of where the money and resources come from is what really needs to be publicized. Those costs are from the same pools of money used to pay for searches for walkaway alzheimer's patients and missing children. You simply cannot pick and choose what portion of your voting constituency deserves the help that their tax dollars already provide.


To add to the unintended consequences as outlined in Portland's position, since I have been doing volunteer SAR work, we have responded to ~30 ELT (aircraft) Beacons. All but one has been a false alarm. Also, since PLB's became available to consumers, we've had two callouts in King County based on PLB activation. Both were false alarms.


I welcome any conversation and debate regarding this topic. I do respectfully request that this bill be withdrawn based on it's lack of benefit to the citizens of the state of Washington.






PMR's Position

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A friend pointed me to this link on Lou Dawson's site:




While I think PLB and their like have a place, they should not be mandated except in a few cases (maritime & aviation). What dismayed me about the write up was the number of false callouts and the lack of registration. I find it very sad.

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"Lets not bash our state elected officials"


- my ass.


This supersized fucktard who hasn’t see his own toes in 20 years and probably breaks into a sweat pushing open the door at his local Dairy Queen has suddenly decided that he needs to “keep the public safe” by regulating how you climb mountains.


Even if you agreed that wilderness users should be required by law to carry certain equipment (which I don’t) the simple fact is winter mountaineering does not constitute a significant or even minor fraction of the accidents and resulting rescues that occur in Washington State.


Once more, the following quote comes directly from a friend active in S&R


Off the top of my head, I cannot think of a single rescue mission in my past 7-8 years experience involving a mtn climber climbing above treeline in the months of Nov-March. The missions we do have during that time involve exactly what you mentioned - ob skiers, snowmobilers, backcountry skiers, hunters, etc., and rarely above treeline.



Add on top of that the obvious factual errors in his response to pdk such as…


“Just a few weeks ago, there was a story from Mt. Hood in Oregon, where a group of hikers was lost for several days.” (climbers that perished)


“they can be purchased online from dozens of retailers for around $100.” (Actually they’re $300+)


And it’s entirely apparent this guy doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about much less any interest. If he was genuinely interested in public safety, SAR expenses or the risks associated with outdoor recreation you’d think intellectual curiosity would lead him to develop at least a basic understanding of facts before introducing legislation.


As Mr Liias freely admits he’s simply passing on legislation authored (or plagiarized) by a friend who’s sole intent is to profit off it.


Should you write letters? Definitely. But this ball of lard deserves no breaks; he represents the worst kind of governance.


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From requiring everyone to carry a PLB, it's not that much of a step to requiring everyone to get implanted with a locator chip. The next step after that is a"control" chip; these have already been successfully used in experiments with insects and lab rats to control motion and behavior.



"Humanoid Units # 11879 through # 32004 deploy to Sector 14 immediately".... :eveeel::rolleyes:


Not to worry, hezaMtguide--I don't think they'll be enforcing this on Mount Si.


The haystack is above treeline, so you better be packing your PLB!

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Further on the PLB Brouhaha: The power of the Vote is crucial, even though we greatly appreciate the comments and concerns of like minded persons in Oregon, or anywhere else for that matter. The WA State legislators know exactly who and who cannot vote for their reelection.


Thankfully, none of the legislaters in my district (36TH) is a sponsor of this legislative endeavor. Thus, I can't write them and promise to strongly work to get them unseated (this is getting them where it will really hurt and a crux issue, more on this below). This is an incredibly narrowly focused effort by the bill's Sponsors There are very few, actual individuals after all, engaging in above timberline winter mountaineering. Most assuredly the Sponsoring Legislators are counting on this fact in an effort to steamroll a miniscule number of the Washington State's populous. I certainly have and will continue to climb and ski in the above treeline winter without such deivices.


If you are really a concerned Washington resident climber, learn who the representative in your legislative district is. Even if their not one of the nine direct sponsors write, call, etc.


The real individuals to address your concerns to are the nine state Representatives I posted yesterday. If they are your district's Representative then you can put the pressure of the thier continued District Representation upon them.





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These people do not understand the human spirit in the wilderness and climbing. People take risks all the time in all walks of life and are willing to take the risk. Mugs Stump, Alex Lowe, Jonny Copp, and Micah Dash were willing to risk their lives for their passion and paid the ultimate price and I'll bet none of them would have regretted the risk.


In the meantime, we have legislation for limiting cell phone use in a car while experts have shown several higher risks (children quarrying in the back seat, eating while driving, applying makeup while driving, adjusting the stereo while driving, etc.)


This is bullshit, life is not guaranteed, let people take risks as they choose, and don't legislate it.


Alpine hiking and climbing is an adventure and there is no way to ensure safety just as there is no way to ensure that you won't be carjacked or have a home invasion or get in a car wreck.


We cannot legislate everything. Life is life and the past and the forever will be with inherent joys and risks in many areas of life. But at the individual's skills and decisions and maybe some luck.



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I agree D. with your assesment of this man, however I also feel that personal attacks regarding his fitness or what have you undermine the legitimacy of our argument and present a bad image of us (climbers) as a group.

I think that by presenting the case against PLB's and legislatoin governing them is more effective in the long run when done so in a manner of mutual respect. Even if the respect is a non reality.

Do I think the guy knows what he is talking about? No.

Do I agree with any one of his points? No.

I just feel that a Trojan Horse tactic is much better suited to this fight than mudslinging.

Just my two cents.



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Here is a simple to-the-point email if anyone wants something to cut-and-paste or take this and edit it. I just sent a much longer, detailed version of this to all the bill's sponsors:




liias.marko@leg.wa.gov; roberts.maryhelen@leg.wa.gov; moeller.jim@leg.wa.gov; simpson.geoff@leg.wa.gov; mccoy.john@leg.wa.gov; jacks.jim@leg.wa.gov; williams.brendan@leg.wa.gov; goodman.roger@leg.wa.gov; appleton.sherry@leg.wa.gov




Opposed to HB 2619




Dear Reps. Liias, Roberts, Moeller, Simpson, McCoy, Jacks, Williams, Goodman, and Appleton


I am a member of the Washington hiking and climbing community, and am opposed to HB 2619, An Act Relating to electronic signaling devices.


I believe that this legislation should not be passed and I urge you to withdraw it. I am opposed to this legislation because:


1. Mountain search and rescue groups and others with firsthand knowledge agree that mandatory use of electronic signaling devices may actually increase hazards to both climbers and rescue teams.




2. The proposed legislation seems a significant infringement on my personal liberty, the weight of which does not appear to be counterbalanced by an attendant increase in the public welfare.


I know that you have heard from other community members expressing these views in more detail, thank you for your reconsideration of this legislation.


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Should you write letters? Definitely. But this ball of lard deserves no breaks; he represents the worst kind of governance.


I agree on writing letters and take issue with your other statement. He may be entirely off base and misguided, but he's trying to do the job he was elected to do: serve the interests of the people of WA. Insulting his fitness/body fat content only detracts from your own credibility. It sounds like the guy got info from one source who told him this would be a good idea. He needs to get the message from ten times as many people that this is a bad idea. Kudos to those of you who have written. It is ridiculous to complain that he doesn't know the nuances of moutaineering IF YOU HAVE NOT WRITTEN HIM TO TELL HIM YOUR VIEWS AND ESTABLISH YOUR CREDIBILITY. If you have an issue that is important to you then taking the time to educate all of the relevant public servants may increase the liklihood you will get the outcome you want. The squeaky wheeel gets the graese. Just ask MattP.


BTW, quotes from SAR buddies are great, but it would be really great to get the actual SAR data/statistics from the past few years. Anyone know how to do that? I'll do some legwork if you pm me contacts (please don't post personal contact info in public cc.com threads unless it comes off a public source). Thanks.


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I'll see if I can come up with SAR statistics from the state. Shouldn't be that hard. Also, the thing that kinda got me was that he didn't just get advise from one source who said it'd be a good idea; he got it from a source who owns a business that sells and rents these devices.


I agree with the sentiment on not attacking him for his physical appearance or anything else. It really can detract from the argument.

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Some real 'voices of reason" just posted. I suspect you know who they are.


FYI: House Bill 2619 status to date (It's really nowhere'sville at this early point, that's a good thing.)




Friday, January 15, 2010 2:22 PM


Requiring the use of electronic signaling devices in certain conditions.


Sponsors: Representatives Liias, Roberts, Moeller, Simpson, McCoy, Jacks, Williams, Goodman, Appleton



Jan 8 Prefiled for introduction.

Jan 11 First reading, referred to Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness



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Yes, some real statistics would be better than anecdotal evidence.


I just had a nice long conversation with Katrina at Brendan Williams office. Brendan has decided not to run for re-election this year, so don't be playing that heavy handed bit. Sounds like it sounded like a good idea, so he jumped on the wagon, lacking a contrary viewpoint. I made most of our points and they were well received, and I directed them to PMR's statement. I know there have got to have been some Mt Rainier winter rescues in the last seven years, but really that's federal funds, not state, isn't it?


Pleasant conversation is much more effective than strident thundering, and persuasion is more pleasant for all involved than coercion. Civility rules. Best to assume good intentions on the part of legislators who are ignorant of our sport, and set out to present your opinion and provide a little education.

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I agree with everything you say for this specific case but the implications are big for any adventure sport (surfing, hiking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, etc.) I agree that they need to be educated and we don't need to demean anybody in office and they have important work to do but if you don't have any experience in the area you shouldn't be touting laws in the area.


And to the day I die I will support mankind's pursuit of adventure even if there is risk involved.

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He looks like a butter fed hog on a hot summer day. Butter fed hogs don't know shit about climbing mountains in winter and would never try and tell me how to do so. Likewise, I would never try and tell a pig when to stop eating butter. But I'm sure he's a really really really nice guy, the way he proposes legislation that his buddy thinks is a good idea.

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Hello Everyone:

After reading all the comments on this forum, I thought maybe a couple of you might be interested in first hand information instead of the speculation and insults that seem to have run rampant. I’ve copied a response I made yesterday to the topic on Rep. Liias’ facebook thread below which hopefully will provide more information.


The only part I’ve had in this legislation is a one time conversation with Rep. Liias where the recent 3 climber deaths on Mt. Hood came up. I told him about legislation proposed in Oregon in 2007 after the 3 deaths in 2006. I also told him about the opposition in Oregon (some valid and some not) which killed the Oregon legislation. After that conversation, I had no part in the legislation that was ultimately proposed.


I wasn’t supportive of the Oregon legislation proposed in 2007 for some of the same reasons most of you are opposed to HB 2619. However, here we are 3 years later and we’ve had a repeat of 3 more deaths on Mt. Hood of experienced climbers who chose not to carry a PLB (or even the Mt. Hood specific MLU) and that decision very likely cost them their lives.


There is a lot of very bad information floating around regarding PLBs as well as all of the 406MHz technology some of which is referenced on this forum as well as the links supplied. I don’t claim the have the expertise of all of you regarding most aspects of climbing but I do have expertise regarding PLBs.


The reason I now support HB 2619 is because we need to get accurate information out regarding PLBs and where they fit and don’t fit. Past attempts at education haven’t worked. I fully expect HB 2619 to die an ugly death just like it did 3 years ago in Oregon. But the important thing is we’ll have an opportunity to get some factual information out there.


Oregon is in a much different situation. Because the legislation failed 3 years ago, and now they have a repeat of the same situation, there will be a lot of pressure to pass some sort of legislation on Mt. Hood. It’s in everybody’s best interest to figure out how to get accurate information regarding PLBs out to those climbers who are going to climb Mt. Hood in the winter because if someone doesn’t come up with a solution, there will likely be a solution imposed that nobody is happy with.


PMR is reconsidering their previous position based on the recent deaths and we’re (PLB Rentals) working with them to make PLBs available in place of the MLUs at a nominal charge. If we can get the word out about PLBs, legislation in Oregon might be avoidable but at this point I wouldn’t bet on it.


Arriving in Portland as I write this so gotta go…..


Kevin Stoltz

PLB Rentals, LLC



Responding to a few of the recent comments, I served with Rep. Liias as a Mukilteo City Council member and am also the president of PLB Rentals, LLC (founded in 2003 when PLBs became legal for use by individuals in the US with the help and encouragement of the SARSAT-Search And Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking- group at NOAA). Our emphasis was making it easy and inexpensive to get PLBs in the hands of those who might need them. When the 3 climbers died on Mt. Hood in 2006, similar legislation to the above was proposed in Oregon which was strongly opposed by some "experts" in the SAR community and the legislation died.


After the 3 climber deaths in December (2009) on Mt. Hood under similar circumstances we (PLB Rentals, LLC) decided to make our PLBs available at a nominal cost ($5 see http://www.plbrentals.com/articles/PR100105.asp). Winter is our slow season and we literally have PLBs sitting on the shelf doing nothing. Our press release was issued before I knew Rep. Liias introduced HB 2619 but I'm extremely supportive even if it's for no other reason to get this long overdue discussion some visibility in Washington State.


I'm working with PMR (Portland Mountain Rescue - one of the "perceived" strongest opponents of requiring PLBs) to make them available on Mt. Hood during the winter months at no charge. Tomorrow I'll be visiting the shops that rent MLU's (Mountain Locator Units - exclusive to Mt. Hood and inferior to PLBs) as well as Timberline to see how we can make PLBs available on-site to climbers and anyone else on Mt. Hood who might need them. The sad reality remains, however, that without legislation, the education won't be effective. The recent deaths on Mt. Hood should be (and are) a wake-up call. Most SAR organizations are now aware that the efforts in the past 3 years haven't been as effective enough.


Also, PLBs, ELTs, and EPIRBS are much different than other devices like MLUs, SPOT, etc. The three SAR responses to the group for salty tasting water was SPOT not PLB. Even so, false activation is a violation of federal law and can (and has) resulted in prosecution. 406MHz beacon (PLBs, ELTs, EPIRBs) resues are documented at NASA's Goddard site -http://searchandrescue.gsfc.nasa.gov/sarsatreports.html.


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