The Legislature should shoot down a plan to allow hunting in state parks.

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OPENING up some state parks to hunting is an idea unworthy even of a pilot project to test it.

The Legislature should shoot down HB 1346 faster than a duck can fly out of range. The bill would mandate a three-year pilot project to allow hunting in four state parks. Hunting in other parks could follow.

The bill is now being considered by the House General Government and Information Technology Committee.

There are already 9 million acres of state lands open to hunting in Washington. The committee should drop HB 1346 and leave the 111,000 acres of park land as a refuge for the hunted and for non-hunters.

State Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, said he introduced the original bill to remove the prohibition and leave it up to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission to decide where hunting in state parks should be allowed.

“There are places where it might make sense to allow hunting — controlled hunts for wildlife management, in areas on or near traditional tribal lands, in more remote areas, for example — and the commission should have the authority to decide. Whether they use it or not is their business.”

Hunting is a tradition kept alive in many American families, including Blake’s. But there are plenty of places for that to continue.

Leave the state parks alone for the hikers, bird watchers, campers and others who prefer to be away from the gun shots and the fallen prey.