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Posted on: September 1, 2015

15-062 State Parks Commission to meet in Spokane Valley next week

OLYMPIA – Sept. 1, 2015 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will have its regular meeting next week in Spokane Valley.

 The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, at CenterPlace Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. A full Commission meeting agenda is available online at www.parks.wa.gov/agency/commissionmeetings/. (Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/MqYLv ) Time for public comment is provided at this and all regular meetings. The Commission meets seven times a year at various locations around the state.

The Commission will consider authorizing a long-term management agreement with Spokane County Parks, Recreation and Golf for the Trautman property, which is adjacent to Riverside State Park. Spokane County acquired the property earlier this year using Conservation Futures Program funding.

The 280-acre Trautman parcel, also known as Nine Mile Conservation Area, borders State Parks property on three sides. The property will provide opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding and other passive recreation activities as well as protect and conserve wildlife habitat.

In July, the Commission adopted new land classifications and adjusted the long-term boundary of Riverside State Park to include the Trautman property. In State Parks planning, “land classifications” are similar to county zoning, and a “long-term boundary” represents a big-picture look at lands that surround a park that, independent of ownership, may in the future advance the conservation and recreation mission of the park.

In other business, the Commission will consider extending the deadline for proposals to rehabilitate the Saint Edward Seminary building. Last September, the Commission set a one-year deadline for rehabilitation proposals from private or public entities. If no proposal were to surface in that time, the building would be vacated. The deadline for proposals is Sept. 30.

In August of this year, Daniels Real Estate, a Seattle development firm, approached State Parks staff with a new concept proposal for the building. The proposal would involve an exchange of the seminary building, pool, gymnasium and some of the surrounding open space of nearly 10 acres of undeveloped waterfront land adjacent to Saint Edward State Park. State Parks staff believe the proposal has sufficient merit to be considered and they are recommending the Commission extend the deadline.

The building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been in a state of disrepair for years. Rehabilitation would require resources well beyond State Parks’ means, and the Commission determined that the best hope would be to enter into a partnership with a public or private entity that had sufficient resources to invest in the building. In years past, several proposals for rehabilitation have been brought before the Commission, but none  moved forward.

The Commission also will consider approving an emergency sale of wind-blown, downed timber at the Crystal Falls State Park Property near Colville. In July, strong winds in the area toppled or damaged a significant number of trees. Parks stewardship staff toured the area with staff from Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to assess the damage. DNR recommended that Parks conduct a salvage harvest as soon as possible, given the elevated risk of wildfire and infestations from bark beetles.

Other agenda items for action to be considered by the Commission include:

  • Approve the policy direction for the 2016 Supplemental Capital and Operating budget requests to the Office of Financial Management (OFM).
  • Establish principles to evaluate statutory proposals for the 2016 legislative session.
  • Codify  policy changes regarding real estate transactions.

Wednesday Work session: A Commission work session is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at CenterPlace Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley. Work sessions are open to the public, however, no public testimony is heard, and no formal action is taken at work sessions.

Topics on the work session agenda include:

  • A discussion on preliminary concepts to include in a strategy for future land acquisition and new park development.
  • Legislative direction for an upcoming review of Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program by the Recreation and Conservation Office.
  • Prioritization of future real estate activities, including allowing recreation business activities and designating lands for enterprise purposes.
  • Overview of the cooperative effort with the Recreation and Conservation Office  to administer the No Child Left Inside program.
  • Update on activities to develop partnerships and build public support at Lake Sammamish State Park.
  • Progress report on the Director’s annual Performance Agreement.
  • Update on agency 2015-17 spending plans, including the earned revenue forecast.
  • Discussion of the development of a 2016-2021 Agency Strategic Plan.
  • Information about potential updates to the Washington Administrative Code for future action.

Commission tours: Commission members will participate in a boat tour of Lake Spokane from 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, meeting at Nine Mile Recreation Area, 11226 W. Charles Rd., Nine Mile Falls. Commissioners will also have the option to tour Riverside State Park, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11, 9711 W. Charles Rd., Nine Mile Falls.

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About Washington State Parks: The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

Follow Washington State Parks:

Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.

Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov

Media contact:
Virginia Painter: (360) 902-8562
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388

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