Public Records Request
The Recreation and Conservation Office values your right to access public records. Washington law requires that, on request, the office make identifiable, public records available for inspection and copying.
How Do I Make a Public Records Request?
You must make your request in writing and then send it to the Recreation and Conservation Office. Your request must include a valid telephone number and valid mailing address or e-mail address for RCO to respond. There are several ways to make a request.
Online: You may use our online form.
E-mail, fax, mail, or hand-delivery: Write your request, preferably on Form RCO 010 (Download printable form) and then.
- FAX: 360-902-3026
Recreation and Conservation Office
P.O. Box 40917
Olympia, Washington 98504-0917
- Hand deliver:
Recreation and Conservation Office
Natural Resources Building, 2nd Floor
1111 Washington Street S.E.
Olympia WA 98501
How Long will it Take for you to Respond?
RCO will respond within five business days of receiving your request. Our response will either:
- Include the requested records.
- Acknowledge the request and, if necessary, ask for clarification.
- Give a reasonable estimate of how long it will take to provide the record.
- Deny the request and cite the legal reason for the denial.
What will it Cost?
Inspecting records is free. The records are available for inspection and photocopying (excluding legal holidays) Monday through Friday, 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. and from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. Please make an appointment by calling 360-902-3000 or for the hearing impaired, TTY 360-902-1996.
If you want copies of the records, the law allows state agencies to charge for the actual costs directly related to the copying of public records (Revised Code of Washington 42.56.120). These costs include such items as those related to the copy machine (maintenance, paper, and other supplies) and staff time devoted to the copying process. The agency may not charge a fee for inspection of records or staff time spent on locating records or retrieving records. The agency is not allowed to make a profit from copy fees.
Postage charges will be added when RCO is asked to send items through the U.S. mail or other delivery service. RCO may decide not to charge for services if the cost is seen as negligible. In some instances, advance payment may be required.
|Black and White Copy: 8.5"x11," 8.5"x14," 11"x17"||15 cents per page*|
|Color Copy: 8.5"x11," 8.5"x14," 11"x17"||25 cents per page*|
|Microfilm Reader/Printer||Actual costs incurred by agency|
|Cds||$1 per CD|
|DVDs||$2 per DVD|
|Maps||Actual costs incurred by agency|
|Photographs||Actual costs incurred by agency|
|Scanning Fee||10 cents per page*|
|Video Cassette||Actual costs incurred by agency|
|Outside Vendor||Actual costs incurred by agency|
|Note: Actual costs incurred by the agency may include sales tax and will be accompanied by a receipt from the vendor. Examples include: FedEx Copy Center, photograph printing, etc.|
|*Two-sided document equals two pages|
|Effective November 1, 2014|
Information about Projects
One of the most common requests is for information about a funded project. Most of the information is available online through the PRISM database. PRISM includes the application, contract, location, project status, who is doing the work (sponsor), cost, and more. You also may run reports to learn about many projects in an area or program. Access is free.
What Records are Exempt from Disclosure?
Only records that are exempt by law may be withheld from disclosure. Common exemptions include the following.
- Archaeological Site Records: Maps or other information identifying location of site or sites. [Revised Code of Washington 42.56.300]
- Preliminary Documents: Preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, and intra-agency memorandums in which opinions are expressed or policies formulated or recommended UNLESS cited publicly or within an official public record. [Revised Code of Washington 42.56.280]
- Personal Information: Information not related to disciplinary action or performance as a state employee (e.g., payroll records, examination questions, medical condition information, Social Security number, residence address, personal phone numbers, and personal e-mail addresses). [Revised Code of Washington 42.56.230, 42.56.250, 42.56.210(1)]
- Real estate appraisals: Real estate appraisals relative to the acquisition of property, until the prospective sale is abandoned or completed. [Revised Code of Washington 42.56.260]
- Farm Plans: Farm plans developed by conservation districts, unless permission to release the farm plan is granted by the landowner or operator who requested the plan, and farm plans developed under chapter 90.48 Revised Code of Washington and not under the federal clean water act, 33 U.S.C. Sec. 1251 et seq. [Revised Code of Washington 42.56.270]
For More Information
Patty Dickason, Public Records Officer