In 2016 The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission completed a planning process for the eastern section of The Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail (known until 2018 as the Iron Horse State Park Trail). The Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail is a linear park comprised of most of the former 287-mile Milwaukee Road Railroad corridor. Planning for the 110-mile western portion of the Iron Horse State Park trail from Cedar Falls (near North Bend) to Beverly Bridge on the west side of the Columbia River was completed in 2000. In 2014, State Parks completed planning for the 34 mile section of railroad corridor between Malden and the Idaho border. The 2016 planning process addressed the remaining 140-mile portion of the trail that extends from Beverly Bridge to Malden.
The process used to create these plans and the plans themselves are below.
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.