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Twispted

Kiss my Discovery Pass

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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.

 

 

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Hey Patrick you won our TR contest in April and you won a gift certificate. Drop me a PM to claim it.

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note: there is an activity badge for rockclimbing. they charge a little more for it than the other ones, but it does include "REI keychain" type 'biner so you can easily clip it to your harness.

 

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note: there is an activity badge for rockclimbing. they charge a little more for it than the other ones, but it does include "REI keychain" type 'biner so you can easily clip it to your harness.

 

 

 

Funny!

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Discovery Pass Press Release - for immediate distribution

 

As many of you know, the State of Washington, in an effort to recover some of the money we flushed down the toilet like drunken sailors looking for whores on shore leave, are looking to maintain our standard of living and to stuff it to you, Joe Average, by initiating a new payment to park system called the Discovery Pass.

 

For the first year until we raise the rate to cover the administration costs of the new pass and the bureaucracy we hire to deal with it, the pass is only a reasonable $30 for a year. You will be able to enjoy all of the glorious areas you already own. We designed it in keeping with the regressive republican trend in politics to charge the poorest segment of society the same as the richest members. Yes, Paul Allen and Bill Gates will pay the same as you, Mr McDonalds worker trying to breath some fresh, non-grease infused air, on your day off. See....fair: everyone is shafted and inconvenienced equally. We don’t have the imagination to just increase the existing taxes so we are hoping this brand new fee and all of the new hires to administer it will go unnoticed. We hope from this lesson, you will learn both who your master is, and why it’s never wise to stand at the bottom of a hill as the shit rolls down it towards you.

 

Have a nice day!

 

Coming soon, a coffee tax which we will call the "Coffee Act". Coffee companies will have to by stamps to buy or sell any and all coffee. Don't want to pay that one either? Well, don't drink coffee. What ya gonna do Mr big shot? Toss all the coffee into the harbor?

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Crills, that Index Lower Town Wall parking lot is railroad company property. The Washington Climbers Coalition has negotiated an agreement where we can use it for now and State Parks is helping maintain it while we look toward longer term parking. You can park for free and you'll be able to use the porta-potty that's presently planned for temporary installation at the Country without buying a Discovery Pass.

 

State Parks owns the Upper Town Wall and the Country and they've been very supportive of climbing at Index, by the way.

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Jeebus Christ, is this bullshit true? Another fuq'n permit? Crikey, I leave the state for less than a month and this abortion goes down? Shit, I need to reside in a new state. WA ain't it... CA ain't it... fuq...

 

Now, this I love:

...USWAKLUSTRFUCD.

You actually got this printed in a newspaper? Classic! :lmao:

 

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Better start gettin' after Opdycke to go get one of those free senior passes. It'll take him a while to get used to the idea and probably better to not to wait til the last minute and then expect him to suddenly warm up to an alien bureaucracy.

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Better start gettin' after Opdycke to go get one of those free senior passes. It'll take him a while to get used to the idea and probably better to not to wait til the last minute and then expect him to suddenly warm up to an alien bureaucracy.

 

LOL! There's a bunch of us hot on his heels, including both of us, maybe you can mass print the application for everyone? I've been getting these AARP mailings lately much to Jasmines amusement, and it's clear that my posts are sounding more like a typical opinionated old man on an out of control rant. One has to wonder just how far behind the dirt nap really is. I suspect if I bought a lifetime pass, I wouldn't get my moneys worth.

 

ps, I've already been tagged to pay over $5,000 in past B and O taxes merely to avoid a court fight, $30 isn't anything but an annoyance. But it is that, and I suspect it will not be an effective revenue provider for the state..

 

:wave:

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Moving to another state might just work.

 

I hear Minnesota is quite nice this time of year...

 

haha

 

d

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“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.”

 

:lmao:

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Would this include the Little Si trailhead?

Good question, I will ask my wife but I believe King County Department of Transportation built the parking lot for Little Si. Not sure if that means KC owns it.

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Crills, that Index Lower Town Wall parking lot is railroad company property. The Washington Climbers Coalition has negotiated an agreement where we can use it for now and State Parks is helping maintain it while we look toward longer term parking. You can park for free and you'll be able to use the porta-potty that's presently planned for temporary installation at the Country without buying a Discovery Pass.

 

State Parks owns the Upper Town Wall and the Country and they've been very supportive of climbing at Index, by the way.

 

Let's hope it stays that way. It seems to me this could potentially be a gray area. The pass is required for "lands managed by state parks dept". I guess we'll find out soon enough, signs are supposed to be installed in the next few days for any site where the pass is mandated.

 

 

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Would this include the Little Si trailhead?

Good question, I will ask my wife but I believe King County Department of Transportation built the parking lot for Little Si. Not sure if that means KC owns it.

 

State DNR owns the Little Si parking lot.

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Vantage is WDFW land I think so the $12 permit from them should do. Peshastin is a State Park so the Discovery Pass would apply.

 

Remember a few years ago when the state parks started charging admission fees? Didn't visitation PLUMMET and the fees get recinded pretty quick? Hopefully this will happen again.

 

I understand the fees though, those five-martini lunches in OLYMPIA are expensive. And those sports stadiums in Seattle we voted not to fund but got built anyway weren't cheap either.

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It's all about user generated funding these days. The legislature took away all state general fund dollars and said "here's the discovery pass, hope you get enough to stay afloat."

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The problem is, as I see it, that there just doesn't seem to be public support for public resources. Whether it is public land or public education or public transit or even public roads: tax revenues are down due to a poor economy but the "public" votes no for any measure that would restore funding.

 

I hate user fees, and I've complained about them on this board, in letters to the newspaper, and in letters to the rangers. I'm pretty sure that fee for entry is a lot less efficient than funding public recreation through broader taxes that don't require on-site enforcement. Parking permit enforcement not only eats up much of the revenue the parking permits may generate, but it also produces bad-will toward the agencies that actually manage the lands we like to enjoy.

 

I'm not at all convinced that parking passes will keep our parks open, but what else can they do?

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Would this include the Little Si trailhead?

Good question, I will ask my wife but I believe King County Department of Transportation built the parking lot for Little Si. Not sure if that means KC owns it.

 

State DNR owns the Little Si parking lot.

 

Yes, was there today and signs were up and many people had to run in to town to Ace hardware because you can't buy the pass anywhere near the parking area.

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