The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is beginning a planning process to shape the future of Bridgeport State Park located in Douglas County near the City of Bridgeport. Bridgeport State Park is a 748 acre camping park with 7,500 feet of freshwater shoreline on Rufus Woods Lake. This lake is actually a segment of the Columbia River set directly behind Chief Joseph Dam. The park provides 18 acres of lawn and some shade in the midst of a desert terrain. Haystacks, unusual volcanic formations resembling their name, are the park’s most striking feature.
The purpose of the planning process is to engage the public during a series of meetings held in the Bridgeport community. This process is called “Classification and Management Planning” or CAMP. Through the four planning stages described below, the CAMP process will review park land classifications, identify resource management issues and propose general approaches for addressing them based on careful analysis of resource inventories, technical information, and an issue-based public planning process.
The classification of lands, when combined with issue-identification and management approaches, provides an effective means of using staff and public input to balance resource protection with recreational opportunities at the park.
Stage One – Identify issues and concerns
The purpose of this stage is to understand what is important to the park community, what to change or save in the state park. This helps get a sense of the range and type of issues that need to be considered through the planning process.
Stage Two – Exploring alternative approaches
At this stage, the planning team suggests potential alternative approaches to address the various issues and concerns raised by people in stage one. No preferred alternative is established; rather this is an opportunity to understand the range of possibilities.
Stage Three – Preparing preliminary recommendations
The best ideas from the alternative approaches developed in stage two are combined into a preliminary plan in this stage. The plan includes recommendations for use and development of land, changes to property boundaries and ways to address issues raised during the planning process. Another important document completed at this stage is the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist that describes environmental impacts of the recommendations.
Stage Four – Preparing final recommendations
At stage four, final adjustments are made to recommendations and submitted to the seven-member Parks and Recreation Commission for approval. The public is encouraged to attend the Commission meeting and provide testimony or to provide written comment.