House bill looks to charge for special events on state trails

Representative Brian Blake is the prime sponsor on a new bill in the House of Representatives related to recreational trails. The bill has been introduced in the House and has been scheduled for a public hearing by the House Committee on Environment on Friday morning at 8 am.

In the ten year projection, HB 2151 states that it would require state agencies that are responsible for trails to develop and implement a recreational trail policy. This policy must promote the use of volunteers for trail maintenance and allow appropriate organized group trail events and competitions. 50-60% of any event gate fees would go back to the state, with the rest going to the event organizer.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Washington State Parks Commission, and the Department of Natural Resources currently host events and competitions such as horse trail rides, field trials, and mountain bike competitions on their trails and lands and charge permit or use fees, but there is no per-participant gate fee.

According to the bill, agencies would likely suggest that organizers charge a $20 per-participant gate fee, of which state agencies would receive $10-12.

If the bill is passed, the initial recreational trail policies must be adopted by October 31, 2015.

Rep. Brian Blake, D-19

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