Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562
OLYMPIA – May 8, 2017 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will convene its next regular meeting and work session in Leavenworth.
The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 18, at Leavenworth City Hall, 700 U.S. Highway 2, Leavenworth. (Directions.) The Commission typically has seven regular meetings a year at various locations around the state. Time for public comment is provided at all regular meetings. A full agenda, including information about opportunities for public comment is available at http://parks.state.wa.us/154/Commission-Meetings-Agendas.
South Whidbey State Park land classifications and long-term boundary are on the agenda for Commission consideration. The requested action is a result of a public land-use planning process for the park during the past year and includes South Whidbey State Park, Useless Bay Tidelands and Possession Point State Park Property. State Parks’ public planning process establishes land classifications and sets appropriate conservation and recreational land uses for areas within parks.
Planning issues for South Whidbey State Park centered in part on the 2015 discovery of tree pathogens that increase the risk of tree failure in the campground. The staff-recommended plan proposes to convert the campground to a day-use site. This change will limit the amount of tree removal necessary to help ensure the safety of park visitors while maintaining opportunities for outdoor education and preserving the beautiful forest setting. Camping would be provided nearby in a future planned local government park.
The Commission also will consider a review of policies, as part of a larger effort to systematically update and streamline policies and administrative manuals. Policies on the agenda for the May meeting clarify a delegation of authority to the Director regarding the sale of alcohol in concession buildings as part of leases.
Non-action items on the agenda include a report about the U.S. Navy’s interest in using certain State Park areas for training exercises. The Navy is in early stages of gathering public input and preparing an Environmental Assessment to help develop a training proposal. The Navy will present information to the Commission about the scope and type of training it anticipates wanting to include in a future proposal.
The public will have an opportunity to comment to the Commission on the matter as part of the report item.
In early 2016, Parks was indirectly made aware of the potential for the Navy to propose expanding its training sites in Washington. In April this year, Parks was contacted by a Navy representative who explained the Navy’s public involvement process, including public meetings, its website and letters to constituents. There have been no negotiations between State Parks and the Navy to date, and any official proposal by the Navy would need to go before the Commission for consideration.
Other Commission reports include financial and legislative updates and proposed meeting locations and dates for 2018 Commission meetings.
Commission work session
A work session is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 17, at Leavenworth City Hall, 700 U.S. Highway 2, Leavenworth. Work sessions are open to the public; however, there is no opportunity for public comment, and no formal action is taken at work sessions.
The work session agenda includes reports and updates on an employee survey; 2017-19 budget; facility assessment; 10-year Capital Plan; central reservation system; negotiations on ballfields at Saint Edward State Park; Mount Spokane Ski Area expansion and 2017 work plans.
Commission members will meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, at Peshastin Pinnacles State Park, 7201 N. Dryden Road, Cashmere, for an informational tour.
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 http://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.
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W.
P.O. Box 42650
Olympia, WA 98504-2650
Washington Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388