RCO 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 Request Records?
You must make your request in writing and then send it to RCO. Your request must include a valid telephone number or e-mail address for RCO to respond. Below are several ways to make a request.
Online: You may use our online form below.
E-mail, mail, or hand-deliver: Write your request, preferably on Form RCO 010 (Download printable form) and then do the following:
Recreation and Conservation Office
PO Box 40917
Olympia WA 98504-0917
- Hand deliver:
Recreation and Conservation Office
Natural Resources Building, 2nd Floor
1111 Washington Street S.E.
Olympia, Washington 98501
How Long for a Response?
RCO will respond within 5 business days of receiving your request with one of the following:
- Include the requested records.
- Provide an Internet address and link to the records on the agency’s Web site or PRISM database.
- 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 1-4 p.m. Please make an appointment by calling 360-902-3085.
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 finding 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.
Records Request Fee Schedule
|Fees||Copies of Records|
|10 cents per page*||Electronic copy of paper records (applies if paper copies must be scanned to produce an electronic format)|
|15 cents per page*||Black and white photocopy of paper records or printed copies of electronic records (applies if requester asks for paper copies)|
|25 cents per page*||Color photocopy of paper records or printed copies of electronic records (applies if requester asks for paper copies)|
|5 cents for every four electronic files or attachments||Files and attachments uploaded to e-mail, cloud-based data storage service, or other means of electronic delivery|
|10 cents per gigabyte||Files and attachments loaded and delivered on a digital storage device (CD or thumb drive). Additional charge for materials and postage at actual cost.|
|Actual cost||Digital storage media or devices|
|Actual cost||Any container or envelope used to mail copies|
|Actual cost||Postage or delivery charges|
|Actual cost||Copied or scanned maps and photos|
|Actual cost based upon vendor cost to agency||Customized service for records sent to an outside vendor due to their unusual size or format, or other factors making reproduction by agency unfeasible. Mailing, delivery, and container costs also apply.|
|Deposits and Payment|
|25 percent of estimated cost to fulfill request||An advance deposit may be required when the fees for an installment or an entire request or customized service charge exceeds $25.|
Common Request: 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, and personal telephone numbers and 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
Public Records Officer