Outdoor recreationists planning Fourth-of-July festivities in the water or woods will need an Access Stewardship Decal – faded or not – on motor vehicles parked on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) access sites.
Many who picked up a decal earlier this season ($10, or free with a state fishing or hunting license) discovered the red ink on the sticker fades quickly. But even if it fades to blank white, the decal is still valid and WDFW enforcement officers are honoring it during their patrols.
"We've had hundreds of calls and e-mails about this problem statewide," said WDFW Licensing Division Manager Bruce Crawford. "We've been reimbursed by the contract printer for the ink problem, but we're not recalling or reissuing decals to avoid even more confusion."
The important thing for recreationists to know, Crawford said, is that if the decal fades, leave it intact on the vehicle. WDFW enforcement officers will recognize it as a valid decal.
The decal is required at WDFW's 625 water access sites and wildlife areas, including about one-third of the public boat launches in Washington. The $10 fee, collected from those who do not purchase a hunting or fishing license, helps cover the cost of maintaining the sites.
"These recreation sites are especially hit hard by boaters, jet-skiers, and other non-fishers over summer holidays like the Fourth-of-July," Crawford said. "We need their help to pay the costs of keeping them maintained and opened for everyone's enjoyment."