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Posted on: February 14, 2018

18-008 Public invited to help plan for recreation and other land uses at Steptoe state parks



Media contacts:

Michael Hankinson, (360) 902-8671
Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562

OLYMPIA – Feb. 14, 2018 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to participate in long-term recreation and land-use planning for Steptoe Butte and Steptoe Battlefield state park heritage sites in Whitman County.

Parks staff will host two workshops in this second phase of the public planning process:

  • 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, Whitman County Library, Main Branch, 102 S. Main St., Colfax. (Driving directions.)
  • 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27,  Rosalia Elementary and High School, 916 S. Josephine Ave., Rosalia. (Driving directions.)

The workshop in Colfax will primarily focus on Steptoe Butte. The workshop in Rosalia will focus on Steptoe Battlefield.

The initial workshop in this planning effort was held on March 7, 2017. Parks staff provided background information on the two parks and explained State Parks’ Classification and Management Plan (CAMP) process.

This second phase of the public planning process considers options for future management of the parks. While both heritage sites are included in this planning process, each park has its own distinct features that require different management strategies. Items up for discussion at the workshops include:

Steptoe Butte State Park Heritage Site

State Parks has the opportunity to incorporate ecologically important lands, contiguous to this park, which include rare species of plants associated with Palouse prairie habitat. The land also includes an orchard of rare apple varieties once thought to be extinct and are considered a cultural resource worth preserving. Planning would include classifying  existing park lands or lands that could be acquired in the future with a thoughtful balance of recreation and conservation.

Steptoe Battlefield State Park Heritage Site

This small park, located in the town of Rosalia, also will be included in the CAMP process. Planning for this park will consider partnerships with local governments and organizations as a way to improve its operation as an interpretive site. Parks staff also will want to hear from the public about ways to update interpretive signs and panels at this historic park.

State Parks planning

Planning for both Steptoe Butte and Steptoe Battlefield will involve three main objectives:

  • Classify park lands to determine the appropriate level of recreational use.
  • Delineate a long-term park boundary to identify lands with shared management objectives or that may be appropriate for transfer.
  • Prepare a park management plan for each park.

Washington State Parks has completed land-use plans for almost 100 parks around the state, through its CAMP process. CAMPs address recreational and trail use, day-use opportunities, natural and cultural resources, and other topics of interest to the community.  

The public is invited to provide comments at this meeting. Those unable to attend the workshop may comment by contacting Michael Hankinson, Parks Planner, (360) 902-8671 or  More information about the CAMP process for the two Steptoe parks will be made available after the public meetings at:

About Steptoe Butte State Park Heritage Site

Steptoe Butte is a 150-acre day-use park high above the Palouse Hills on the southeastern edge of Washington; Steptoe Butte offers unparalleled views of a unique landscape. The butte contains some of the oldest rock in the Pacific Northwest, and it marks the border of the original North American Continent. Over time, Steptoe has been a wagon road, a hotel site and an observatory location. In addition to inspiring vistas, the 3,612-foot summit displays several interpretive panels that pay homage to its distinctive geology. For more information, visit: 

About Steptoe Battlefield State Park Heritage Site

Steptoe Battlefield State Park Heritage Site is a 4-acre day-use park in Rosalia. The site is where an 1858 battle occurred between U.S. Army forces led by Colonel Edward Steptoe and several Native American tribes. For more information, visit:    


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

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

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

1111 Israel Road S.W.
P.O. Box 42650
Olympia, WA 98504-2650

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