In the November Outside magazine, an article mentioned that eight States currently charge for Search & Rescue. It didn't list which States charge, does anyone know? New Hampshire is the only one mentioned.
I don't think anyone in Washington charges. I am in the Kitsap ESAR Unit and we don't charge. I have also had a free joint Navy/Coastguard helicopter rescue in the Olympic National Park. If you get all the correct permits and follow your submitted itinerary, the National Park will foot the bill (unless you demonstrate extreme negligence).
Worth noting that New Hampshire usually doesn't charge either - in fact most SAR searchers are volunteers. Maybe a decade ago they passed a law to allow the state to bill up to (?$5000?) if the victim was at fault (in the secretary's sole determination -- note this statute hasn't been challenged in court yet); it was very recently amended to raise the max up to (?$25,000?), and they quickly took advantage of that in what I consider a poor decision.
SpiderSavage wrote:The AAC http://www.americanalpineclub.org offers rescue insurance free as a part of the membership package. Join up, climb safe, and don't worry about it.
There was a thread a while ago on this. AAC changed their rules a few years ago from general rescue insurance to covering the first $5000 as provided by a specific provider, Global Rescue Services. You can upgrade to their $500K coverage plan at a generous discount of 5% (base rate of $329/yr for an individual). Better than nothing but not as great of a deal as before.