Discover Pass sales disappoint state parks officials

WENATCHEE — An expected surge in Discover Pass sales this summer came up short, so the state Parks and Recreation Commission may decide Thursday to ask state lawmakers for more money from the general fund.

Parks spokeswoman Virginia Painter told The Wenatchee World that revenues were nearly $5 million short of expectations from June through September. She said the commission will consider asking the Legislature for $27 million for the 2013-2015 budget period.

The Legislature decided two years ago to make state parks largely self-sufficient, depending on the annual Discover Pass and camping and boat launch fees. Painter said no other states have park systems that rely solely on user revenues.

State Parks is launching a new campaign urging people to support Washington parks by buying the $30 Discover Pass.

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