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AGO 1952 No. 300 - May 08, 1952
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington


State parks may not be devoted to television or other commercial purposes.

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                                                                    May 8, 1952

Honorable John R. Vanderzicht
State Parks and Recreation Commission
100 Dexter Avenue
Seattle 9, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 300

Dear Sir:

            In your letter of April 22nd you asked the following question:

            May the State Parks and Recreation Commission authorize the use of state parks by private industry for necessary installation in connection with television?

            You are advised:  State parks may not be devoted to television or other commercial purposes.


            State parks are for the use of the public generally, and while concessions may be granted therein (§ 1, chapter 157, Laws of 1923, 10942 Rem. Rev. Stat., as amended and supplemented), the authority to grant concessions is in aid of the public use.

            A park may not be made primarily a source of revenue (39 Am.Jur. 815, Use of Parks, § 18), and we have ruled that a park may not be used as a fox farm, (Letter of May 21, 1923, to Honorable H. W. Rutherford, State Park Superintendent).  While the courts would undoubtedly sustain your finding  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] that a particular use of park property would contribute to the enjoyment of the public or to the beneficial use of the park, you would have no authority to allow a park to be used for purely commercial purposes.  See annotations in 18 A.L.R. 1253 and 63 A.L.R. 487, and the annotation following the case reported in 144 A.L.R. 478.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General

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