Co-publisher of The Northern Light, Louise Mugar, joined Whatcom County Tourism CEO Sandy Ward in Olympia on January 30 for the Washington Tourism Rally to support the creation of a statewide tourism marketing program, which hasn’t existed since 2011; Washington is the only state in the nation without one. Mugar, Ward and others met with District 42 representatives Luanne Van Werven and Vincent Buys as well as staff of state senator Doug Ericksen. State lawmakers are considering Senate Bill 5251, which would create a tourism marketing authority to provide performance-based industry funding mechanisms, without imposing a burden on taxpayers. The bill would promote the many natural, cultural and recreational attractions in rural and economically distressed regions of the state. Pictured above: Washington Tourism Alliance, industry stakeholders and county tourism advocates. Photo courtesy of Whatcom Tourism Alliance.