Lobbying for Trails and Mountain Biking in Olympia!
The last few weeks, Eric Brown headed to Olympia on two occasions to team up with Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and MANY other outdoor recreation groups to help promote mountain biking (and outdoor recreation) in WA state and to meet with our elected officials while the legislature was still in session.
Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition Lobby Day:
On January 28th, Eric joined more than 90 folks (10 mountain bikers) to support updates to the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) via House Bill 2509. This program is now 25 years old and is the basis for the Recreation and Conservation Office grants that many public and non-profit groups use for their recreation and conservation projects.
That day, Eric attended 8 meetings with legislators from all over the state including the 40th district (Kevin Ranker, Jeff Morris and Kris Lytton’s offices) and also dropped by our 42nd district offices. Additionally, these meetings served as a reminder to our legislators about the Blanchard Mountain funding needs and our future trail funding needs in Whatcom County after the DNR’s planning process is completed.
Big Tent Coalition Rally:
On February 3rd, Eric and Chris (from RRAD – Ride, Run and Dig) attended the Big Tent Rally to help show our support of Outdoor Recreation and the industries/jobs it supports in Washington State. Statewide, recreation accounts for more than $21 Billion dollars and employs almost 200,000 jobs.
At the event were every most advocacy groups in the state, several conservation groups and outdoor companies like Cascade Designs, REI, Outdoor Research, Cabelas, and many more. This gave us a great opportunity to network with other groups and to showcase what we’re doing in Whatcom County to help turn it into an outdoors mecca.
The speakers included: Dan Nordstrom (president of Outdoor Reasearch), Jim Whittaker (first American to scale Everest), Jon Snyder (Governor Inslee’s advsior on Outdoor Recreation), Marcus Haneman (former Sounders goalkeeper) and Governor Inslee himself.
Especially worth noting is that Governor Inslee believes so much in the outdoors and it’s postive impacts it has on our economy, that we are only the third state to have an official position that advises the Governor on Outdoor Recreation.