OLYMPIA – Dec. 18, 2015 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to attend a second public meeting to help plan for the future of recreation at South Whidbey State Park and the Possession Point and Useless Bay state park properties near Freeland.The meeting is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, at Whidbey Water Services, 5585 Lotto Ave., Freeland. (Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/i6U2N) Information about the planning project is available online at parks.state.wa.us/964/South-Whidbey-Island-State-Park-Planning.
The Jan. 7 meeting is the second of three public meetings in which state parks staff are gathering information and comments from the public that will help lead to long-term plans for the park and nearby properties managed by the agency. The first meeting was held Oct. 21.
Opportunities for public comment will be available at the meeting, and public comment also may be provided by contacting Randy Kline, Parks Planner, at (360) 902-8632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BackgroundIn spring 2015, Parks staff preparing for the upcoming camping season noted that several large Douglas-fir trees in the campground had snapped and fallen across campsites. A forest pathologist found advanced heart rot disease in the stems of large old-growth trees in the park—a condition that can result in falling trees and limbs without warning. As a public safety precaution, State Parks management closed the park to overnight camping. The park remains open for day use.The condition of the trees and the closure of the campground prompted State Parks to begin a public planning process to determine the direction of recreation at South Whidbey State Park. The process will also address recreational uses and stewardship of natural resources at Possession Point and Useless Bay state park properties. State Parks has completed more than 100 land-use plans for parks around the state, through its Classification and Management Plan (CAMP) public process. The CAMP process will address the forest health issues that led to the recent campground closure, day-use and camping opportunities, overall visitor experiences, natural resources, recreation areas and trails and other topics of interest to the community. About South Whidbey State Park South Whidbey State Park is a 347-acre park with 4,500 feet of saltwater shoreline on Admiralty Inlet. The park is known for its old-growth forest, tidelands and breathtaking views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. For more information, visit: http://parks.state.wa.us/585/South-Whidbey
About Washington State ParksThe 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.
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