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Fees boost price of Washington state park pass beyond $30

Washington State Parks

The true cost of the new annual pass for Washington state parks will be $30 plus fees, when purchased online or at a licensed dealer.

That's because of transaction charges.

Democratic State Senator Kevin Ranker says he thought the park system would absorb those extra costs and only charge the consumer $30. He's not happy about the extra transaction charges.

“I also think that it makes it a little bit more complicated, Ranker said. "If you buy it at REI, it's $32. If you buy it from a Ranger, it's $30. If you buy it online at Fish and Wildlife, it's $35. The idea all along was that we wanted one pass, one price for all recreational lands."

Ranker sponsored the legislation this year that ends funding for state parks and instead pays for them through user-fees. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says the extra transaction charges associated with the new Discover Pass were discussed during the legislative session.

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Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.