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Help determine how millions of dollars in state grants should be spent in the outdoors

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is looking for roughly 70 volunteers to help determine how millions of dollars in state grants should be spent in the outdoors.

Volunteers will score grant applications submitted in two programs: the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, which provides grants to build and renovate parks and trails, and to protect and restore wildlife habitat and farmland, and the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account, which provides grants to restore shorelines and create waterfront access. The grants are awarded to cities, counties, state agencies, tribes and others. Volunteers will serve for four years on one of three different advisory committees, which will meet from five to 10 weekdays every two years.

The following volunteers are needed:

— Park and shoreline users

Seven volunteers representing recreational groups or local parks boards are needed to evaluate grant applications for projects that build or renovate local parks and improve shoreline access. Ideal candidates have expertise in project design or management, landscape architecture, planning, engineering, permitting or property acquisition.

— Trail users

Four volunteers from a public agency familiar with managing trails are needed to review applications for projects that build or renovate trails. People with expertise in project design or management, landscape architecture, planning, engineering, permitting or property acquisition are also encouraged to apply.

— Farmers and ranchers

Six volunteers are needed to review applications for projects that conserve important farmland.

— Wildlife habitat conservationists

Fifty volunteers are needed to review applications for projects that conserve important wildlife habitat. Volunteers should have experience in natural resource sciences, conservation easements, urban planning, management of water or land, engineering, acquisition of habitat properties or fish and wildlife management.

— Shoreline conservationists

One volunteer representing local government and familiar with shoreline habitat protection and restoration is needed.

To apply send a completed application and support materials to The Recreation and Conservation Office, P.O. Box 40917 Olympia, Washington 98504-0917 by March 30. Applications are available at www.rco.wa.gov/grants/advisory_cmte.shtml.

For more info, call Lorinda Anderson, 902-3009 or 902-1996 or email lorinda.anderson@rco.wa.gov.

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