I sent the letter that tod posted to my senator/representative. Here is her reply.
Thank you for writing me with your thoughts regarding Senate Bill 5979, ensuring that the trust beneficiaries receive their proportionate distribution of moneys received from the sale of discover passes. This bill is in the senate and you are the first to bring this issue to my attention so I am glad you shared your concerns.
I have opposed the Discover pass from its creation; in large part because I knew it wouldn't be long before the money gets moved toward other projects. By all accounts it has been a colossal failure. According to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, revenues from the Discover Pass are 59 percent below what they were forecast to bring in. The number of visitors to our parks has plummeted and they are having difficulty enforcing it. This has been a bad idea from the start.
There is a better way. We need to reprioritize funding with the recognition that --like schools, roads and prisons --- parks are an essential government function. Parks have been operated for 100 years without having to limit access to only those who can afford to purchase a pass. Our park system survived the great depression; surely they can survive the great recession without adding cumbersome fees.
I am an avid outdoorsman myself. I enjoy camping, horseback riding, snowmobiling and my husband is an enthusiastic hunter. I understand your position and am glad to do my part to ensure the public has as much free and open access to public lands as possible.