The Washington State Parks system is on unstable financial ground. Next year, the parks won't receive a dime from the state. That means they'll be depending on Discover Pass dollars to stay afloat.
Lawmakers say next year all 117 state parks will be self-sufficient and operating with no state funding. Park Ranger Brian Frahm says he's nervous for what's to come.
The Parks Department will run solely on dollars from Discover Passes and camping fees, but so far they've seen fluctuating sales with the seasons. They've cut nearly 200 positions over the past four years and Frahm fears some parks may be forced to close.
Riverside State Park boasts 12,000 acres of pristine beauty and is an oasis for hikers and bikers. But they worry, with all the turmoil; the gates may be locked for good.
For now, the park service is asking the community to help keep the grounds open for generations to come. They claim it's impractical to run on their own. They're asking for $18,000,000 from the general fund for 2013 through 2015.