FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2011
Fourth of July reminders: Discover Pass goes into effect July 1; Fireworks illegal on DNR-protected lands
OLYMPIA – As people head out for the Fourth of July weekend, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants to remind the public that beginning July 1, a Discover Pass will be required on vehicles accessing state trust lands managed by DNR.
In addition, DNR urges people to take precautions with fireworks and campfires.
The state’s new Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to recreation lands and water-access sites managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, DNR, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). State recreation lands include state parks, boat launches, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, trails, and trailheads. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov .
Fireworks and DNR-protected forests don’t mix
Fireworks are illegal on DNR-managed lands. If you are in an area where fireworks are allowed, please use extra caution. The same applies for campfires. Both fireworks and campfires are major causes of wildland fires in Washington.
“There are several major wildfires in Arizona that have destroyed homes and were human-caused,” said Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands. “We need people to be careful. With a little caution, we can all enjoy a safe holiday weekend.”
Campfires are permitted on DNR-managed lands in approved fire pits only.
Fire safety tips
In areas where campfires are allowed, please be conscientious and make sure an adult is always in attendance, ensure there is a shovel and bucket of water close by, and put the fire out cold before walking away.
Here are some helpful tips to help keep this a fun and enjoyable weekend:
- Never leave a campfire unattended, and be sure it is completely out before leaving the area.
- Be sure recreational vehicles have operating spark arresters.
- Do not park any vehicles in dry, grassy areas, as the heat from exhaust systems can ignite the dry grass.
Recreation on DNR-managed lands
DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, aquatic, agricultural, conservation and urban lands. Most recreation on these lands takes place in the 2.9 million acres of forests that DNR manages as state trust lands. By law, state trust lands are managed to produce income for schools, universities, prisons, state mental hospitals, community colleges, local services in many counties, and the state’s General Fund. State trust lands are also managed to provide fish and wildlife habitat and educational and recreational opportunities.
DNR-managed lands provide 1,100 miles of trails, 143 recreation sites, and a variety of landscapes throughout Washington State. Recreational opportunities include hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, motorized vehicle riding, mountain biking, and boating.
DNR’s main recreation focus is to provide trails, trailhead facilities, and a primitive experience in a natural setting.
DNR’s wildfire mission
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 12.7 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands in Washington. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department. During fire season, this includes more than 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 375 seasonal workers. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.
Discover Pass and Recreation: Toni Droscher, Recreation Program Communications Manager, 360-902-1523, email@example.com
Fire Prevention and Awareness: Janet Pearce, Community Outreach and Environmental Education, 360-902-1122, firstname.lastname@example.org
# # #