For release:July 10, 2013
Contact: Susan Zemek, 360-902-3081
CONSERVATION -- The Washington Legislature funded a venerable state program, that, in turn, is awarding $86 million in state and federal grants that will build parks and boating facilities, maintain backcountry trails and off-road vehicle access, improve the safety of archery and firearm ranges, conserve farmland and protect wildlife habitat.
The grants, which are awarded through the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, will be given to cities, counties, state and federal agencies, tribes and non-profit organizations for work in 34 of the state’s 39 counties.
Grant recipients match the funding with resources of their own. In total, grant recipients will contribute nearly $57 million in matching resources, making the state and federal dollars stretch further.
“Washington’s outdoors are one of the things that make this state great,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Outdoor recreation in Washington contributes more than $11.7 billion annually to our economy, supports 115,000 jobs across the state, draws people from around the world to our mountain tops and shorelines, and is one of the reasons people and businesses move here and stay here. Investing in Washington’s outdoor economy just makes good sense.”
The grants are funded through eight different grant programs that receive money from state and federal sources, including the sale of state bonds, gas taxes, and user fees. The Legislature authorizes funding for all the grants.
Before they are selected for funding, grant proposals go through an extensive review that includes evaluation by advisory committees made up of citizens with experience in recreation, farming, and wildlife habitat.
“Our rigorous process ensures, that we fund only the best of the best projects,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which supports the board and administers the grants. Generally, only about half of the grant requests are funded. This year, 414 projects requested more than $163 million in funding.
These grants will fund a tremendous range of projects, from maintaining trails in the Olympic Mountains to conserving elk habitat in the foothills of the Blue Mountains.
Click below for descriptions of each grant awarded in the following counties:
Multiple Counties (including Columbia, Garfield, Wahkiakum) $1,970,819