Mount Si closing
There was an article that ran in the Seattle Times yesterday that talked about how to help save costs, the state is considering closing over 20 trails and campgrounds across Washington.
This list includes a number of local trails that I have either hiked, or are planning to hike in the near future. The big ones on the list are Mount Si, Little Si and Rattlesnake trails.
The Northern Rangers shot a video up on Mount Si last year. This photo shows us on the Mount Si trail early last year. And yes, that is back when I had long hair.
These three trails serve over half a million hikers each year.
Outdoor recreation groups will lobby the 2010 Legislature when it convenes today in Olympia to find the $276,000 in general fund money necessary to keep the trails and recreation areas open.
And don't think that Eastern Washington is out of the mix. The Lake Spokane campground, which is very popular during the summer months and sees about 30,000 visitors annually, is also on the chopping block.
I think these are some of the dumbest moves the state could be considering making right now. In these tough economic times individuals and families are traveling less. This means that this year's summer trips will probably involve hiking and camping for many Northwest families. The closure of these trails and campgrounds will only increase the traffic at other places.
What does that mean? More traffic (both foot and car) in local outdoors areas will cause other trails to deteriorate faster. Awesome.
But what can we do?
The Washington Trails Association site provided a link so that you can contact your state senator and local lawmakers.
Also, February 3rd is Hiker Lobby Day in Olympia. Here's a link to some FAQs about just exactly what Hiker Lobby Day is, as well as a link to register for the day.