Comment Online

Commenting is closed for the time being.  Thanks to the more than 500 people who commented on this blog.  Your input is now being incorporated into the first draft of Washington’s State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP).  When that draft is written we will again open up this site for commenting—this time on the draft plan itself.

Thanks for caring about how recreation opportunities improve our communities. We appreciate your help as we work together to make this happen.

PREVIOUS COMMENTS – Your comments from the previous rounds of our conversation are now posted.  Just click this link.

322 Responses to “Comment Online”

  1. Rachael Says:

    More horse trails, access unrestricted to horseback on public and federal lands. Use of ecosystem based management of forests and trail areas/surrounding forestland as well as public and federal land.

    I would not like to see auto or ORV use NOT on specific designated trails.

  2. Anita Will Says:

    I agree with your comment good management of the resources that we have and keeping them open to users in designated areas as per use. Everyone in Every user group wants more trails, but I think We need more volunteers to come forward from all user groups. Having the trails stay open that we already have will depend on this in the future, nothing in life is free. The costs for maintaining trails and getting new trails approved with all the permitting it takes such as grading and habitat permits plus the environmental planning now required are extremely high in cost not to mention more costs to maintain. If we can find a way to help each other and do planning and repairs correctly the first time it will save dollars in the future. The other part of this is educating the youth to Leave No Trace practices and trail manners for all user groups. One bad user makes it hard on all of the groups. One bad apple spoils the lot, how do we get this point across, maybe some sort of positive way for those that do the right thing in the right place. A tax credit would help for volunteers for the hours they donate each year, just a idea, it can’t hurt.

  3. Melinda Meyers Says:

    I would love to see more “Horse trails” that go along the rivers. Not only would it be a nice ride but you can also water your horse too. I live in Finley, Wa. it is just on the south east side of Kennewick. I feel fortunate that we live so close to the river. We ride along the trails and even ride in the river. It makes for such a nice ride. Everyone in the nieghborhood now faces the rest of SR397 finishing up just down the road from us. We as a horse community are waiting to see if we can still get access to it from our road. It seems these days that we are just getting pushed out of everything with no thought of the horse community. heck the local fairgrounds was being rented and run by a gentleman who knew exactly what he was doing in making a large area where all horsemen/women coud go to ride. Everyone was meeting there! It was a place where our chldren could go ride, compete and it was a huge family fun event, and it kept the kids off the streets! Then they (the county) pulled the lease out from under him. They made an excuse that was not true. when caught in it they then made another excuse.. No more fun for the kids, families etc..
    I hope that if promises are made they are kept.
    We need places where we can go ride and enjoy it!
    Some of us now ride on the Corp. of engineers land. We really enjoy it. But, we still miss more places. One place we used to ride was up above Hover. We would park our trailers (a bunch of us would meet) and go riding on the Blair Ranch Land. (It was open for everyone to use. The rules; Make sure you close the gates! There was no littering no nothing it was all left CLEAN!
    (There we people going up there to practice shooting and someone got shot down at the bottom of the hill.) We can no longer park our trailers there. The owners of the land posted it. There is no other place to park. So that is out now. And, we used to ride clean over to the cliffs overlooking Oregon.
    I have lived here all my life. I have watched all the areas shrink to nothing. No where to ride. I’ve watched people move in from out of town to be “in the country” yet they don’t like the livestock. Too much noise, smell etc.. Hello.. That is why we live out here. To get away from all of those folks.
    We definitely need to have trails for horseback. It would be nice to be able to even cross the river on a bridge of some type. I’d love to ride over the Columbia and ride in Pasco or else where.
    My favorite place though is along the rivers, and lakes etc.. so much wildlife to watch and see.
    We have a bike trail out here.. You know who uses them to get around when need be.. Horsemen. We cannot ride on SR397 there is too much traffic and large semi’s going through now. NO one hardly ever rides a bike on the “bike path” You will find horses on them. And some of the best rides have been on the Corp. of Engineers lands. There vehicles are not allowed. We do not have motorcycles ripping around there either. You can even go and pick black berries, etc..
    I talk about this because THIS is the type of trail horseback riders, and horsemen/women need.
    We don’t mind sharing with bicycles either. 🙂
    I wish I/we could take you out on a ride where we go riding. I am sure you could see why we go where we go and ride where we ride. The Columbia river is such a beautiful place. You see Bald Eagles, deer, weasles, you can fish right off your horse if you wanted too. 🙂
    If you are willing to go for a ride to see the areas. Just let me know. We can line it up. Preferabley though when the weather in warmer..

  4. Lacie Dawson Says:

    I would love to see more horse trails and trail heads that are trailer friendly.

  5. Gina Stommes Says:

    I would like to see more horseback riding on public lands. I also would like to see continued usage of certain trails designated for specific activities such as mountain biking, hiking,horseback riding.

  6. cindy Says:

    please consider more horse back riding trails. Having trail heads that are big enough to park the trailers as well.

  7. Tony D Says:

    Horse trails are fine – as long as you’re riding a horse. Having hiked in the Capitol Forest along the Mima Falls trail once (and that was enough) I’ve decided horse trails are nasty. Fetid pools of stagnant water mixed with dung – thick with flies… no thanks.

    I would like to see more hiking / mountain bike trails – and more motorized use trails – you can share the trail with these and enjoy the trail without constantly looking down, dodging piles of manure.

  8. Therese Jones Says:

    It is very important to have more horse trails on public lands,We need to do all we can to do it for the next generation of rides,young and old,we like to see continued usage of older trails,the ones who have being for horse riders since 1970,we need to share with all other sports,and work together to protect are beautiful world.Thank you.

  9. Darcy Says:

    What would I like to see?
    I would like to see barriers between people and our public lands collapse. We are losing the next generation to i-devices and techno-everything. At this very time when agencies should be reaching out, we are making it very difficult to enjoying the outdoors. Discover Pass, America the Beautiful Pass, NW Forest Pass, leases and fees, licenses and stamps and stickers, and piles of permits . On top of the financial impact, government adds regulations for everything. No walking, no picking, no camping, no riding, NO-NO-NO! In the long run, these excessive rules will hurt the lands they are designed to “protect”. The “Hassel factor” becomes such a burden, people will just stop participating in outdoor recreation, switch to Disneyland or Casinos, and simply not care anymore. We see it already–less outdoor recreationists, and less resources. Our state’s solution has been to transfer more of the financial burden onto fewer and fewer hunters/anglers/campers/riders. We need to reverse this trend and make it easy to enjoy the outdoors again!
    Specifics:
    Access: Millions of acres of private lands, especially timberlands, have closed to the public recreation. These lands still get taxbreaks that were supposed to help insure they were open to the public. This needs to change: companies that enjoy these timberland tax breaks should keep the land open. There are also places where private land blocks public land. We need to gain legal public access for the public to our existing public lands.
    Fees: If it is absolutely necessary, STREAMLINE, make it easy and make it interagency. People do feel they should support the recreation they enjoy, but they don’t want to be harassed or insulted or red-taped into a fine or ticket. Keeping up with the requirements is a full-time job. The Discover Pass was originally for developed recreation sites, but the Agencies, sensing more cash, expanded that to mean any land the people might even pass through on a trip somewhere else. Travesty! Fees for service is ok, fee for entry is no-way.
    Opportunity: Think broad. Connect parcels. Trails should be considered part of a regional transportation system. Find those forgotten gems and utilize them. There is no need for excessive development that costs massive amounts of tax dollars. Simple parking with dirt trails should do if we want to reconnect with the outdoors. Expanded basic (free) access to land and water should be a priority.
    Cooperate: Stop micromanaging, let volunteers do real jobs, ask for help, work between and within different agencies, get kids and schools involved. In our county we have a new campground and also a world-class gun range mostly because of volunteers and public-private cooperation (despite the state regulatory burdens for such projects).
    Regulation: Review laws and remove burdens and barriers. Steamline the grants–better yet, just give the WDFW, Parks, and DNR, grant money to use as they see fit. This will save money by trading administrative and process costs for on-the-ground results. Refine the Discover Pass–use it as a marketing tool to encourage visitation. Should it really be illegal for a child to collect rocks and sticks? Do we really need all those licenses, passes and permits?

    It is also time to put some of the financial burden of land management back onto the state as a whole, instead of bleeding recreationists for more money. Much of our public land is set aside or managed for environmental (vs. recreational) uses, but recreationists have to pay the lion’s share for management. Think endangered species, wetlands, shorelines. These areas should be supported by the population at large.

    What not to do? Stop doing what you are currently doing with regulations and fees and change course now, before it is too late.

  10. Monte Geerdes Says:

    please always consider to never having now or in the future,to barring horse use for we/us avid horseback riders! thank you!!!

  11. John Chappell Says:

    For personal background, I have been hiking the backcountry since about 1964. In those 49 years I have seen a lot of country and a lot of changes. I have hiked around the Grand Tetons, ridden and hiked the Bob Marshall, hiked in Denali, ridden around in Outer Mongolia, the Pasayten Wilderness, the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, the Wenaha Wilderness and numerous other areas. Early on I learned as a hiker that I did not enjoy sharing the trail with motorcycles. I have nothing against them but I stay away from areas where they are allowed. Cross country skiing and snowmobiling are equally incompatible.

    My thoughts for what I would most like to see happen are as follows.
    a. What is it that you would most like to see happen with outdoor recreation in Washington in the future (i.e., what is the desired future condition you would like to see)?
    I would like to see wilderness preserved as wilderness. Aldo Leopold and John Muir have helped define wilderness and they envision areas used by non-mechanical visitors with a minimum of interparty contact. I would like to see areas open to hikers and equestrians using “leave-no-trace” methods and very low density. Large campgrounds are inimical to wilderness. I think it would be preferable to have a drawing for access rather than overloading Wilderness Areas.
    Areas outside Wilderness should be managed to provide balanced recreation opportunities at an affordable rate for the various interest groups, probably separately in most instances. Some are compatible and some are not.

    b. What is it that you would not like to see happen with outdoor recreation in Washington’s future?
    I would not like to see people priced out of opportunities to enjoy various outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, running, horseback riding, swimming, muscle/wind powered boating, power boating, fishing, hunting, skating skiing and etc. I think there is plenty of room for all and that segregating use based on per capita demand is fine keeping in mind that some uses are inherently incompatible.

  12. Nathan Says:

    I highly value living on the edge of the Capitol State Forest. Unfortunately many of my neighbors are scared to venture in due to it being a virtual shooting gallery. Others hesitate to spend the $30 per year to venture on to the safer nearby nature trail.
    –Let me be clear. Hunters are not the problem, “target” shooters at the edge of a densely populated area are. They are unaware of the trail systems around them. I have encountered people shooting from, across, down, and over trails. There is a spot where I regularly pick up clay disks from the trail tread, thanks to skeet shooters who shoot from the road above the trail.–
    I would like to see safe recreation areas. I would like to see day use areas and nature trails not priced in such away to discourage casual users.
    I would like to see the DNR to continue to work with user groups to maintain and create trails. I wouldn’t mind getting more than a $1.25 per hour of work towards a pass (24hrs for a $30 pass).
    I highly value the immense trail system in my backyard. Streamlining permitting of new trails to prevent user conflicts would not be a bad thing, but the trails in my area are good and getting better, primarily due to user efforts.

  13. slugsmasher Says:

    My personal ideal future would involve everybody going back to watching TV or something at home so I can enjoy the wilderness unabated without the crowds, the fees and the public. But that is not going to happen so I am in favor of the following:

    1)Preservation of existing outdoor opportunities

    Encroachment of private landowners and constant disagreement among land management/use issues results in loss of existing opportunities for all involved. With the ever increasing popularity of outdoor recreation and commercialization or outdoor activities, it is paramount that existing areas are preserved and aggressive motions are made to increase land use opportunities. We need to make the number one priority in keeping what we already have and maintaining it.

    2)Educate Users at the Source

    Many conflicts exist in outdoor recreation due to the fact that several different user groups have different levels of outdoor recreation related education when it comes to preserving and maintaining outdoor areas. Put education to preserve our future in schools where kids are taught “leave no trace” ethics and gain appreciation for outdoor recreation. Additionally, scouting groups, church groups and family activity groups should all be teaching the same thing to kids in preservation and care of the wilderness areas.

    3)Expand opportunities equally among users

    Popularity of certain activities will ebb and flow. However, access to areas for those activities should not ebb and flow. I am talking about high impact or pseudo impact activities such as mountain biking, horseback riding and motorcycling. More areas are needed for these sports and parking/facilities to accommodate them. Taking away a moto trail to make a horse trail and then redesignating it a biking trail only to finally lose it to hiking only is a sad state that I have seen happen several times over the years. Hiking and walking enthusiasts have virtually endless possibilities while other sports are very limited. In areas where impact is damaging this is understandable however many groups are willing to work with land managers to improve and expand access wherever possible. We need to continue to grow our working relationship among all user groups and ensure fair appropriation of new lands and areas for all.

    Things I would not like to see is:

    1)Increased fees while not improving or increasing areas.

    2)Over population of outdoor areas. If outdoor recreation continues to grow in popularity as it has for the last 10 years we are going to have some major access problems in the next 20 years.

    3)Closure of any designated trails for activities other than hiking.

  14. Linda Riley Says:

    I would like to see a continued availability of trails for all users, non-motorized and motorized on Public Lands. More and more people are getting outdoors. This is a healthy way of spending quality time with friends and family. For safety reasons, we need trails designated for specific group’s i.e. motorized, non-motorized, mountain biking, and hiking. Where equestrian trails are to be shared with other users, I would like to see them be built to accommodate all of the users and not just to hiker standards. I would like to see adequate trailheads to access the trails, and campgrounds to camp at with our families and friends. I belong to Back Country Horseman of Washington. Our club members spend many hours working on trails to keep them clear and usable for user groups – Almost 60,000 hours last year. I am sure that other user groups spend a lot of hours on trail work as well. I would like to see our group working together with other groups and public officials to help defray the cost of up-keep and maintenance.
    I would not like to see users unable to use public land due to high taxes and fees, nor would I like to see our public lands closed.

  15. Sharon Cosner Says:

    I want to see more horse trails open up!!!!!! I realise it takes money to keep up the trails but with the price of fuel and the car tabs that we pay most people will not pay to get the discover pass if we could get a discount on the discover pass it would be great! and more people would ride in the areas more…..

  16. Steve Says:

    We need a horse riding greenway for horses only. We need riding paths for horses alongside people greenways. I would like to ride my horse to work but can’t because theres not a horse path thru Selah gap and along Yakima river. We horse owners and riders need to start demanding the same access as bicyclists,,horses were here before bicycles. WE NEED MORE HORSE PATHS.

  17. Tony Karniss Says:

    Tony Karniss Says:
    As a member of Back Country Horseman Of Washington, I am concerned about the future of our recreational trails and trailheads in washington, both in the Front country and Back country areas.
    I would like to see all trails remain open for all user groups,and do not close trails by regulation or for the lack of maintenance, there are thousands of hours of volunteerism put forth to keeping trails and trailheads open.
    I am aware of the short funding from federal, state and local goverment, so lets back off on some regulation, and let user groups to continue doing, and assist you in trail and trailhead maintenance, we are more than happy to work with you.

  18. Cristy Craig Says:

    I would like to see our state parks remain open to everyone, so either a roll back of economic barriers to park use, or in the alternative a clearly communicated method for low income folks to waive park fees. I would not like to see increases in park fees, such as the $10.00 parking fee I saw posted at St. Edward State Park last weekend (I believe up from $5.00). Although my family has the economic resources to pay park fees, the cost of an annual pass is high enough to price many others out of the park user market. Families struggling with economic issues should not be precluded from using invaluable public resources that provide opportunities for fresh air and exercise, exposure to physical beauty, and the power to educate through experience.

  19. Reed Says:

    a. The desired future condition of outdoor recreation was well stated by Bob Vaux, then President of the Washington State Trails Coalition, in 1998: “Our minds will slow, our hearts will race and our waist lines will recede. Trail stories will be exchanged at the barbershop and in the grocery checkout line. Outdoor equipment will be reasonably priced for all society to purchase. Citizens will be able to identify native plants, trees and animals. We will know our time and place based on seasonal change. When asked where we are from, the answer will begin with the location of the nearest trail.”

    The State will be adequately funding outdoor recreation and working with other public entities, user groups, and the private sector to provide outstanding opportunities for its citizens and the continuing influx of visitors who stop in awe, time and time again, during pursuit of their outdoor dreams from the benthic depths to glacial heights.

    b. What I would not like to see, right now and in the future, is the flushing of funding on the state level for outdoor recreation, cultural heritage, and the environmental benefits of forest carbon sequestration, cool and clean freshwater, and a sustainable saltwater biocommunity. We are blessed with amazing natural resources, that we must steward and live within, borrowed from future generations. The time to pay up is now.

  20. Kelly Amsbry Says:

    I’d like to see more support for dedicated mountain bike trails on state land. This is a recreational activity that is not widely supported enough in the state currently. With the formation of the Washington State High School Mountain Biking League we have an opportunity to get a lot more teens involved in a positive outdoor activity that can be accessible to people across the state.

  21. Peter Montgomery Says:

    I read most of the comments written before my comment, and, it seems to me from reading, the comments are mainly about trails – horse, mountain bike, motorcycle, ORV, hiking. Very little about Parks, almost nothing about recreational uses of the State’s water resources. Anyway, creating and maintaining recreational facilities, whatever they may be, takes money. Every public organization in America is struggling for funding and the population to be served continuously increases. We Americans grew up with the ideal of democracy in our minds – of the people, by the people, for the people, a powerful and worthy ideal. However, that ideal cannot be realized with more and more people and less and less public money available. For the past one hundred and fifty years, when land and labor were cheap, Americans developed public lands and encouraged their uses. Public organizations no longer can even afford to maintain what has been developed, say nothing of developing more. Even raising taxes, if such a thing could happen, would never provide enough funding for all the current demands. Some commentors took the question, “what would you like to see happen . . . .” to mean what MORE would you like to have available. The question, if posed realistically, means, what would you like to keep available and what dropped from public offerings. I take it, from the comments posted, the public, at least the commenting public, wants trails. The state can no longer provide all the people with all the people want. So, as programs get cut, what I would like to see is for the State to KEEP THE LAND, keep all the sites it has now, never give up the public lands and waters. Programs will have to go, staff will have to go, but don’t ever surrender what has been acquired.

  22. Eva Tyler Says:

    I would like to see hiker trails kept open and maintained. I would also like to see road improvements for trail access.

    I would not like to see any more trails open to motorcycles unless they were separate from hiker trails. If a trail is designated motorcycle only, then I would like to see an equivalent hiker only trail in the same area.

Comments are closed.