WTA Hiker Lobby Day was a great success
Thank You Hiker-Lobbyists!
Roughly 75 people came to Olympia yesterday to talk with their elected officials about restoring funding to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the effort was a huge success!
It is too early to tell if DNR’s funding will indeed be restored, but many of the legislators were struck by the message that restoring a mere $278,000 (less than .01% of the deficit) would have a large benefit to the many hikers, families and communities that use DNR lands as a close-to-home recreation opportunity. Equally important was the fact that many legislators did not realize that Mt. Si was managed by DNR or that it (and many other great places) are in real danger of being closed.
The fact that constituents were able to raise awareness about DNR will go a long way towards getting funding restored.
In addition to raising awareness among lawmakers, it was great to watch WTA’s supporters turn into budding activists. Many folks were nervous about meeting with their representatives, but as the day went on people’s confidence grew. It started small with some great questions to the morning’s guest speaker, Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands, who gave an inspiring speech.
By the end of the day folks were offering copies of Washington Trails magazine to their representatives and encouraging them not only to support restoring DNR’s funding but also to join WTA!
“I had no idea how easy it was to meet with my representative,” remarked one of our lobby day participants yesterday afternoon. And several of our first timers have already committed to coming back next year. There is a rush and feeling of satisfaction to being an active part of the democratic process.
If you didn’t get to experience this firsthand yesterday, you can still be a part of WTA’s efforts to save DNR lands. Call the Legislative Hotline 1-800-562-6000 today and urge your state representatives to restore DNR's recreation funding in the 2010 supplemental budget.