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Parks & Rec, D&R to Discuss Beach Prospecting

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) invite the public to participate in an open discussion about recently adopted state regulations regarding small-scale mineral prospecting and mining on the ocean beaches.

The public meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 16th, at the Montesano City Hall, 112 N Main Street, Montesano. The purposes of the meeting are to provide information about small-scale beach prospecting rules that were enacted last year to regulate the activity on Washington’s ocean beaches, and to hear public opinions and preferences about those rules.

From 2008 to 2010, State Parks, in concert with WDFW, conducted a two-year pilot program on small-scale mineral prospecting and mining on the ocean beaches. This pilot was mandated by the legislature. State Parks and WDFW reported their findings and recommendations on the activity to the legislature in December 2010. Based on the results of the pilot, State Parks adopted rules that allow this activity on a small, recreational scale, under certain restrictions. Large-scale commercial mining continues to be prohibited on Washington’s ocean beaches. The pilot program findings and the rules are available online at: www.parks.wa.gov/rules/. If you have questions about the upcoming meeting, please contact Lisa Lantz, State Parks Acting Stewardship Program Manager, at 360-725-9777.

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