Oregon, Washington split over snow park permits

The Associated PressSeptember 6, 2013 

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon and Washington state are ending a 35-year agreement to honor each other’s permits for winter recreation areas.

Washington said its more expansive snow park program, which costs more, no longer matches Oregon’s.

“Why are we doing reciprocity when our programs are not reciprocal?” said Pamela McConkey, manager of Washington’s winter recreation program. “Washington pays for much more out of the Snow Park permit.”

Washington charges $40 for an annual permit, $20 for a daily. Oregon charges $25 a year, $4 a day, The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1dZGQUq) reported Friday.

Permits are required to park at cross-country ski, snow shoeing and sledding areas. Oregon also requires them at some downhill ski areas.

Washington uses the money to pay for its entire Snow Park program, including snow removal, trail grooming, sanitation, education programs and enforcement.

Oregon’s program, which is run by the state Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Department, is much smaller, McConkey said. “Reciprocal means they’re the same, and they’re really not the same anymore,” she said.

Washington wanted to end the agreement in 2010 but couldn’t because the governor at the time, Chris Gregoire, had a moratorium on rule changes. The moratorium ended last year.

David House, spokesman for the Oregon DMV, said he understands Washington’s decision. But it means Oregon can no longer honor Washington Snow Park permits, House said.

“We have no idea how many people this will affect,” House said.

The Oregon Department of Transportation website says Oregon permits will still be honored in Idaho and California.

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