Keywords: Department of Natural Resources, DNR, environmental impact, lead contamination, off-road vehicles, ORVs, recreation, shooting, Washington Administrative Code, WAC, recreational regulations, USA, United States, natural resources, environmental pollution
Recreational impacts on the environment as an impetus to updating recreational regulations in the Washington State
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) uses the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) as the regulations by which the agency manages public lands for Washington State. Originally written in 1970, the part of the WAC that guides recreational public access was suitable for its time. However, as populations grew, new technology has developed and the public now recreates deeper into wilderness lands. These policies have been found insufficient for the DNR to fulfil its obligations. In November 2004, the DNR initiated the process of updating new recreational WAC. Two case studies analysed in this paper examine lead contamination from unauthorised shooting and impacts from overuse of Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs). In conclusion, the environmental impacts from these activities are considered to be significant enough to trigger an environmental analysis, which should be done in order to prevent future damage to natural resources, the public and the environment as a whole.