PAT NEAL: Discovery Pass decision

IT WAS ANOTHER tough week in the news.

Blizzards, floods and wind hit so hard this wilderness gossip columnist got a case of the carpal tunnel syndrome just from emptying out the 3D rain gauge.

All of which has gone a long way to exacerbate the cabin fever pandemic currently sweeping the Olympic Peninsula.

The only glimmer of hope and good cheer that can possibly be offered in this bleak time of year is that at least the tourists are gone.

Tourists are a hassle.

That’s why we put a season on them.

When it’s tourist season it takes longer to get anywhere.

They are always clogging up the roads where it is a well-known fact that many of the tourists drive almost as bad as the locals.

Tourists clog up the checkout lines at our stores and shops buying a lot of silly junk they think they need for a quality recreational experience.

In recent years the tourist problem has gotten so bad it seems as if winter is the only time we natives can relax and enjoy ourselves.

When, if only for a brief period of relative calm, we can bask in the natural wonders of this emerald jewel in a state of relative solitude without the crowds, noise and endless questions of the tourist hordes.

It may be too early to talk about the severity of the coming year’s tourist season but it’s never too late to panic.

Tourist season is like the weather. Everybody complains but nobody does anything about it. Until now.

A recent Peninsula Daily News article, “Legislation to discard Discover Pass ‘dead,’ ” described the valiant efforts of our state lawmakers to protect us from the tourist threat and defend our cozy corner of paradise from those who would seek to journey here and disturb our peace and contentment with their big wallets, new cars and fancy RVs.

How was this miracle of public policy performed? With a steadfast refusal to eliminate the Discover Pass.

If you don’t know what a Discover Pass is, then you might as well be a tourist yourself because they usually don’t know what a Discover Pass is either. Until they get a $100 ticket for not having one. That’s when the tourists vow to leave Washington state immediately and never return, ever.

Problem solved.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.

We don’t need tourists coming here spooking our iconic marmots, spying on our starving orcas and harassing our Sasquatch.

Thankfully, our courageous legislators have stepped up to the plate to grab the bull by the horns and deal with the tourist invaders by hitting them where it will do the most good, right square in the wallet

The Discover Pass is one of many state and federal permits required to be on public land in Washington.

These permits provide an important source of funding for permit enforcement while discouraging tourists from coming here and destroying our cherished way of life.

For far too long the invasive scourge of the tourist cabal has taken advantage of the hospitality and welcoming good nature of the good people of the Olympic Peninsula.

Some of the tourists think that — just because they come here with gobs of money and spend it like drunken sailors going to restaurants, hotels, motels and resorts while speeding around in their fancy rental cars in an endless orgy of shopping, eating and drinking — they can act like they own the place.

The fact remains the Discover Pass is the best defense we have against tourists.

I say if it ain’t fixed, don’t break it.


Pat Neal is a Hoh River fishing and rafting guide and “wilderness gossip columnist” whose column appears here every Wednesday.

He can be reached at 360-683-9867 or by email via [email protected].

More in Opinion

DIANE URBANI DE LA PAZ: Words of wisdom from a dance teacher

AT ESALEN, ONE of Earth’s most glorious spots perched on California’s Big… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Co-managed to extinction

IT WAS ANOTHER tough week in the news. The WDFW, aka the… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Come for the view, stay for the plastic

IT WAS DAYLIGHT in the swamp. Something had gone terribly wrong. There… Continue reading

EDC UPDATE: Valentine’s Day time to show love for local business

By Colleen McAleer Economic Development Corp. Brrrr!!! February. It may be the… Continue reading

JERRY CORNFIELD: On car taxes, Sound Transit says it gets it, but does it?

Lawmakers and transit agency leaders are still far apart on how to reduce the cost of those tabs.

POINT OF VIEW: Vote YES on levy for the love of Port Angeles

SITTING ON THE table is $18.4 million in already collected state taxpayer… Continue reading

DIANE URBANI DE LA PAZ: Forging ahead with beans and bars

I SLIDE OPEN the door and enter the sanctuary. A fragrance says… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Discovery Pass decision

IT WAS ANOTHER tough week in the news. Blizzards, floods and wind… Continue reading

POINT OF VIEW: Vote ‘no’ on PASD levy

COMMON SENSE, CONCERN for our entire community’s welfare and frugality guide our… Continue reading

JERRY CORNFIELD: What lawmakers want to do isn’t always what needs to be done

They’ve introduced 1,341 bills. It’s time they started focusing on the ones that matter most.

PAT NEAL: The Hoh rocks

IT’S BEEN ANOTHER tough week in the news. The Upper Hoh Road… Continue reading

OUR VIEW: Vote YES on PASD levy

WE CAN’T AFFORD to let our schools fall apart. Opponents of the… Continue reading