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Monday, August 29, 2011

More tolls, taxes -- and now, for the nature lover....

Due to Olympia's spending crisis, the state Legislature imposed a new fee to use public lands beginning July 1, 2011.

The fee come in the form of the new "Discover Pass," which costs $30 for an annual pass and $10 for a day pass (additional processing fees apply). This excerpt from the Discover Pass website lists what areas the pass applies to:
"The pass allows access to state recreation lands and water access sites managed by Washington State Parks (State Parks), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). These lands include state parks, water access points, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, trails and trailheads. The Discover Pass will be needed to access DNR’s developed or designated recreation areas, sites, trailheads and parking areas."

There are some exemptions for this pass. For a complete list, download "Do I Need a Discover Pass?" (pdf).

The Discover Pass is not required for holders of certain hunting and fishing licenses on WDFW recreation lands and water-access sites. For those individuals, a "WDFW vehicle access pass" will be required for vehicle access to WDFW lands and boat launches.
The penalty for failing to display/possess a Discover Pass is $99. The fine will be reduced to $59 if proof-of-purchase of the pass is provided to the court within 15 days of the violation notice.
For more information about this pass, please see the FAQ page on the Discover Pass website.

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