My wife and I decided to go camping and fishing at the river not long ago. At the last minute we learned that Central Ferry Park was closed. I knew Lyon's Ferry Park closed years ago.
We wound up at Crow Butte Park on John Day Reservoir. We tried to get reservations again on a recent weekend and found that the few remaining parks are booked solid.
In the 1970s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's chief of recreation development envisioned a string of state parks from the mouth of the Snake River to Lewiston. Every flat area along the shore would sport more recreation areas.
Central Ferry, Lyons Ferry and Chief Timothy parks were built for the Washington Department of Parks and Recreation and Hells Gate Park for the Idaho Department of Recreation. Central Ferry cost over $1.2 million, and the state demanded that everything had to be provided down to the rubber washers in the hoses. There were similar costs for the others. There are other small parks operated by the Corps.
Government is too big; taxes are too high; we have to cut spending!
When government was too big, taxes were too high, and we could spend the tax dollars for the benefit of you the people, many of those parks were built so you could go to the river and boat, swim, water ski or fish.
Now, even though the state is charging another $35 for a recreation pass, it can't afford to run parks that were built for it. The Corps can't reopen the parks because, "Government is too big; taxes are too high; we have to cut spending!"
You can bet the millionaires who don't pay taxes don't care if you can go out to the river. They probably jump in their corporate jet (which you subsidize) and go someplace like the Bahamas for their recreation.
When you hear, "Government is too big; taxes are too high; we have to cut spending!" think about whether you want a government that does things for you, the people.
Corps reservoirs around the United States support more recreation than even the National Park Service.
Maybe that is one area of government that is not big enough, and where more money could be spent and more jobs created. I would like to see some of my tax dollars go there.