Monthly Archives: May 2017

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    325 bipartisan state legislators representing 44 states oppose Trump executive order

325 bipartisan state legislators representing 44 states oppose Trump executive order

May 15th, 2017|

OLYMPIA — A bipartisan group of 325 state legislators from 44 states sent a letter to President Trump today raising strong concerns with the unprecedented action to review public lands under an executive order signed late last month. The diverse group of legislators urge the president not to rescind or shrink the lands currently designated as national monuments under the Antiquities Act.

“This action puts our heritage at risk here in Washington and across the country. While a select list of national monuments, including Hanford Reach and San Juan Islands in Washington state, could be under immediate review, the order is a first step that puts all public lands at risk,” said Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, who drafted the letter. “The president’s action serves the needs of some special interest groups while ignoring the needs of millions who enjoy our nation’s most special places and the jobs that depend on them.”

“National monuments hold an important place in our history and culture in the United States. No president has attempted to revoke a national monument before,” said Jeff Mauk, Executive Director of NCEL. “We urge the president to work with Congress and state legislators to increase funding for public land management and boost the surrounding local economies.”

“Public support for protecting special places is strong, and many small communities increasingly depend on tourism and the growing outdoor recreation economy,” said Ranker. “The effort to eliminate or shrink national monuments risks $45 billion generated nationwide by public lands, including national monuments. State legislators will fight for our communities, our heritage and our values to keep public lands in public hands.”

Inslee signs Ranker’s outdoor preschool pilot bill

May 4th, 2017|

OLYMPIA — Sen. Kevin Ranker’s bill to allow for outdoor preschools was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee today with supporters, teachers and children in attendance.

“I am very excited to create this opportunity to license full-time outdoor preschools, allowing children to learn and explore in the environment around them,” Ranker said. “This program will help children get outside at an early age, letting them learn and thrive outdoors while preparing for their future.”

Based on a Scandinavian model, outdoor preschool educators lead children through exploration and hands-on learning for hours a day, entirely outside. The pilot puts these in-demand programs in Washington on track to offer full-day programs and expand access to families that might not be able to afford outdoor preschool.

“Outdoor preschools are also a great way for families struggling to afford childcare to get their children into the outdoors with exceptional science and early education. This program sets children on a path to enjoy science, exploration learning and become stewards of the environment,” said Ranker.