From the desk of Jon Snyder
Outdoor Recreation and Economic Development
Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jay Inslee
Apr 7, 2020
Here’s my monthly round-up of interesting WA state outdoor recreation news. I apologize in advance for the large amount of info in this month’s email!
All the latest updates, including mask guidance: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/
State public parks and land and fisheries closures have been extended to May 4 to coincide with the Governor’s Stay and Home order extension: State public lands agencies extend closures until May 4
Do you have a company that would like to help manufacture or supply Personal Protective Equipment or testing supplies?: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/how-you-can-help
Current guidance on outdoor recreation:
Unnecessary travel undermines the spirit the “Stay Healthy, Stay Home” order and creates new avenues for infection. The virus can spread anywhere at any time, even outdoors.
For right now, adventure can wait. Any outdoor activity should therefore adhere to these principles:
– Stay close by when going outdoors—if you need to take a car it’s probably too far.
– Don’t recreate with those outside your household.
– Practice strong social distancing and stay at least 6-feet apart when getting fresh air.
Resources for businesses and nonprofits:
Communities across the entire state have established COVID-19 assistance funds. AWB’s COVID-19 Resources page is particularly inclusive with a concise listing of many of these funds, including those specifically for nonprofits at https://www.awb.org/covid-19-resources/
Non-Profit Funding and Resources
- Washington Nonprofits
- DoorDash is offering at-cost or subsidized delivery for nonprofits. Fill out the form here.
- Innovia Foundation COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Funds
- Snohomish County Coronavirus Response Fund grants
- Seattle Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund – for community based organizations helping priority populations at the front lines of the crisis
- Orcas Island Community Foundation’s Community Emergency Response Fund
- Yakima Valley Community Foundation’s Resilience and Response Fund – Will give grants to nonprofit businesses. Stay tuned for further details.
- Community Foundation SW Washington COVID Response fund – See this page for details and email them if you think your nonprofit aligns with their fund’s purpose.
- Benton and Franklin county – Nonprofits in these counties helping with food and/or childcare can apply beginning March 25. Details and application link is found here.
- Bainbridge Community Foundation’s Community Response Fund – Granting limited financial resources to nonprofit organizations for urgent health and human service needs
- Lewis, Mason and Thurston counties – The Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund – Please fill out the Nonprofit Survey to be considered. For more details, please contact Melissa Rosscup at
Quick micro recap of 2020 leg session:
Governor vetoed over $250M of new expenditures due to the coronavirus crisis including:
State Parks: $500K new spending for No Child Left Inside Program (Crab Creek Trestle engineering was not vetoed)
RCO: $300K for land stewardship, $75k outdoor rec planning/future investment
WDFW: $500K commercial fishing buy-back, $300K elk fencing, $400k invasive species/boats, independent fisheries science review (Director Susewind: “The good news for us is that the primary appropriation method that the legislature adopted was not vetoed, and thus our structural deficit was resolved.”)
Significant bills that passed:
2601- Parks and Rec Leases
6592- Tourism Authorities
2587- Scenic Bikeways
5613- Road Vacation/body of water
2571- Fish and wildlife violations
6208- Bicyclists/stop signs
6210- Anti-fouling paints
6670- Discover Pass/libraries
Vetoed: 2723- Off-road vehicle enforcement
- Coronavirus land and facilities closures:
State Wildlife Areas, Forests, Parks Closure Extended To May 4
Washington State Parks will close campgrounds to prevent spread of coronavirus
The National Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region authorizes site closures
BLM closes Yakima River Canyon recreation sites
Mt. Spokane and other area resorts close
Sheriff’s Office: Poor social distancing may lead to Sand Dunes closure
Skamania County closes hiking areas
Cabin fever weekend: Beaches closed, no fishing, stay away from Mt. Si due to coronavirus outbreak
Public land closures, ‘Stay Home’ orders highlight green space inequalities
Port of Seattle suspends 2020 Alaska cruise season indefinitely amid public health emergency.
Mt. Rainier National Park temporary closures
Snohomish County Executive announces closure of county park gates, bathrooms
Seattle, King County and other cities close all playgrounds and courts due to coronavirus
- 6 Reasons to Respect Recreation Closures During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Hunting and fishing closures:
Statewide fishing ban ordered due to stay at home order
Washington cancels youth turkey hunts
Sinking feeling envelops charter fleet amid fishing closure
- WA outdoor business switch manufacture PPE:
Outdoor companies start making masks (Eddie Bauer)
Outdoor Research promises 200,000 masks a day by June
Cascade Designs, Inc. Converts Seattle Factory to Manufacture Personal Protective Medical Masks
- Social distancing and the outdoors:
Families fill beaches, attempt social distancing during Covid-19 crisis
Nature’s not closed during coronavirus. Should you still go hiking?
Does Washington ‘stay at home’ order permit recreational drives? It’s a little fuzzy
Outdoor crowds test the limits of social distancing in the fight against coronavirus
WA outdoor business news:
Ski resorts around the country shut down
Ecology Youth Corps cancels 2020 summer litter crews for teens.
An update: Our Community and Coronavirus (WTA)
REI stores remain shut, workers furloughed, chief officer foregoes pay
Fort Worden PDA temporarily closes public facing business
Metro Parks Tacoma to lay off 520 part-time workers due to ‘devastating’ COVID-19 impacts
What Gov. Jay Inslee told his own family about COVID-19.
‘Stay home’: Inslee warns greater restrictions might be necessary if residents don’t follow directives.
Hunting and Fishing news:
Several WDFW Provisos Vetoed As Inslee Slashes Supplemental Operating Budget
Washington’s Forests, Elk Habitat Get $880K Upgrade
Information Expected On Inslee’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ Order’s Impact On WDFW
Mountains to Sound Greenway connection underway in Factoria
Citing potential spread of coronavirus on Pacific Crest Trail and elsewhere outdoor advocates urge through hikers to cancel plans
Spokane man continues to hike Pacific Crest Trail despite pleas to stop
Senators reach $2B deal to boost conservation, parks
On the Bright Side, Biking in the Age of Coronavirus Has Become Less Stressful.
National Parks Are Still Open Despite COVID-19
Washington State Parks camp host tests positive for Covid-19
Covid-19 prompts free bus rides, PDA cuts in Jefferson County
How should parks respond to coronavirus?
Editorial: Amid Coronavirus response, Congress must support parks and open space fund
WSP reports collisions down statewide last week.
To Promote Social Distancing, Some Cities Are Giving Roadways Over to Cyclists. Should Seattle?
Here’s what Washington’s new ‘stay-at-home’ order means for you.
How should parks respond to coronavirus?
COVID-19 Reveals That the Real Cure For Freight Truck Congestion is Fewer Cars.
Removal of dam will free Wildboy Creek after 55 years
Washington Steps-Up Messaging On ‘Stay-At-Home’ Order: Risk Ticket Or Losing Business License.
Ironman Triathlon to bring spending and exposure to Maple Valley
With more people staying home, Washington skies are cleaner
Introducing the Stayed Home Badge!
What can I do outside?: What Gov. Inslee’s mandates mean for outdoor recreation
A letter from your city’s future (Seattle)
Coronavirus concerns turning Washington’s tourist destinations into ghost towns
29-year-old Chelan man learns painful lesson with Covid-19
National Parks are open with some changes
Responsible outdoor recreation and risk management
Groups want more time to comment on Columbia River Plan
Short-term rental moratorium sparks hot opinions
Eli Francovich: Outdoor NIMBY attitude is not the answer to a growing region
None this month.
RCO extends grant deadlines to June 1st
Webinar on April 15th for IMBA mountain bike trail building grants
WSDOT 2020 City Safety Grants Require Local Road Safety Plans
Cities must have a local road safety plan grounded in systematic safety principles to be eligible to apply to WSDOT for approximately $25 million in federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds. The deadline for application is April 16, 2020.
A local road safety plan is a data-driven analysis and prioritization of an agency’s roadways for traffic safety that addresses fatal and serious injury crashes and systemic safety needs. WSDOT has crash data available, including an analysis of pedestrian and bicyclist serious injuries and fatalities, and we provide technical assistance to support development of a plan.
LATEST COVID-19 UPDATES & RESOURCES: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/
Outdoor recreation and Economic Development Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jay Inslee
Office: 360-902-0488 Mobile: 360-584-3804
Todd Elsworth is one of the many “Mossy-haired lunatics roaming the dripping peninsulas”, described in “I’m Here for the Weather” by Tom Robbins. As executive director, he works to fulfill our mission to teach the health benefits of nature, promote outdoor recreation, and steward the places where we play.
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