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State Parks Commission to hold regular meeting in Olympia this week

WA Parks

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will meet in Olympia for its regular meeting this week.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Governor Hotel, 621 Capital Way S., Olympia. A full Commission meeting agenda is available online at www.parks.wa.gov/agency/commissionmeetings/. Time for public comment is…

Washington state parks remain open – Federal shutdown does not affect state parks operations

OLYMPIA, Wash. – As news of the Federal Government shutdown reaches the public today, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission reminds visitors that state parks remain open and available as normal, moving into the fall and winter season. 

The fall season in Washington typically is inviting to visitors, as fall colors and intermittent sunny weather lures recreationists out to enjoy parks for overnight RV and other camping, for daytime activities such as hiking and biking and for special vacation house rental stays in historic houses, cabins and yurts. The Federal Government shutdown reportedly includes national parks and U.S. Forest Service offices and sites. 

Most state park day-use areas and many campgrounds in the Washington state park system remain open year-round, though specific areas within some parks have partial closures or limited access as winter gets under way. The State Parks winter schedule will be finalized and made available later this month so visitors can plan trips and continue to enjoy state parks. 

Campfire ban lifted in Washington State Parks

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announces the end of a general campfire ban in state parks east of the Cascades.

The action follows an announcement Wednesday by the Department of Natural Resources, lifting a ban on recreational fires on lands under DNR fire protection east of the Cascades. An earlier statewide ban on campfires was lifted in August for Western Washington state park campgrounds.

Some restrictions may remain in place for specific state parks or portions of parks. Visitors are advised to check the State Parks website at www.parks.wa.gov.

The summer ban on recreational campfires had extended to open fires and briquettes but had allowed use of propane devices for cooking and warming.

Washington CoastSavers Partner with Operation Shore Patrol

Volunteers needed to clean up state park coastal beaches.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and its partners invite the public to participate in Operation Shore Patrol and the International Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 21.

Washington State Parks and the Pacific Northwest 4-Wheel Drive Association have been organizing beach cleanups on the third weekend of September since 1971. This is the first time CoastSavers is joining the efforts to expand the participation for this event. Volunteers cleaning the beach on Sept. 21 will be joined by thousands of others around the world, all sharing the common goal of protecting the marine environment. 

“Marine debris is a serious threat to our ecosystems and our enjoyment of the coast,” said Don Hoch, director of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. “Garbage and debris harm coastal vegetation, wildlife, and marine organisms and mar the beauty of the coastline.”

Volunteers of all abilities are needed. If you can hold a bag, you can help. While some people carry garbage bags to roadside dumpsters, others simply fill bags and leave them on the beach to be collected by volunteers driving four-wheel drive vehicles. 

State Parks and SUBWAY® restaurants launch No Family Left Inside

OLYMPIA, Wash. – In honor of the Washington State Parks Centennial and National Public Lands Day, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and SUBWAY® restaurants have partnered to launch No Family Left Inside. Running the entire month of September, this program will reward park visitors by honoring their Discover Pass in all 406 SUBWAY® restaurants located in 17 counties throughout Western Washington.

Anyone who visits participating SUBWAY® restaurants and shows their Discover Pass during the month of September will receive a free six-inch sandwich with the purchase of a six-inch sandwich of equal or greater value and a 30 oz. drink. SUBWAY® restaurants also will distribute the Washington State Parks brochure – Adventure Awaits – at all locations throughout the region. 

“Encouraging families to lead healthier, active lifestyles is very important to us,” said Paul Armour, SUBWAY® Advertising Board Chairman. “Getting outside and enjoying the great outdoors together is a great way to do that, and that’s why we decided to launch the No Family Left Inside program.”

Campfire ban lifted for state parks in Western Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington State Parks announces it is lifting a ban on campfires in state parks in Western Washington, as the result of rain and forecasts of milder weather. 

Effective immediately, campers in state park campgrounds west of the Cascade crest may resume having campfires in provided campfire rings and also may use charcoal briquettes in grills and braziers. 

State Parks is following the lead of Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who announced today he is lifting the ban on recreational fires in approved fire pits on forest lands under DNR fire protection, within state, county and municipal or other campgrounds in Western Washington. 

A ban on campfires and use of briquettes remains in place for all state parks in Eastern Washington. 

Visitors to state parks in Eastern Washington are allowed to use the following devices for cooking and warmth: 

• Propane and liquid gas stoves appropriate for camping and backcountry use
• Propane barbecue devices that do not use solid briquettes
• Propane or pressurized white gas warming devices that have a shield or base
• Lava rocks or lava logs may be used in propane grills and barbecues
• Solid fuel citronella or other candles in a metal bucket or glass container 

Celebrate State Parks Centennial with ShellFest event and more at Fort Flagler

OLYMPIA – Aug. 12, 2013 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Washington State Parks Foundation invite the public to attend Centennial 2013 ShellFest at Fort Flagler State Park on Marrowstone Island in Jefferson County. 

The event is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, August 17, at Fort Flagler State Park, 10541 Flagler Road, Nordland. 

The day will include exhibits, a guided interpretive low-tide walk, food, hands-on children’s activities and educational information about restoring and protecting shellfish beds in Puget Sound as part of the Shellfish Initiative. The event is free. A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to the park. 

The Makah Indian Nation will present a welcoming ceremony, dances and story-telling. Traditional native fry bread will be available for purchase. 

Washington State Parks bans campfires in all state parks

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Parks department says that campfires in all state parks will be prohibited until further notice to help prevent human-caused wildfires during the hot, dry season on both sides of the Cascade Mountains. 

Campers will be allowed to use devices that allow for control of combustion, including propane and liquid gas stoves appropriate for camping and backcountry use; propane barbecue devices that do not use solid briquettes; propane or pressurized white gas warming devices that have a shield or base; and solid fuel citronella or other candles in a metal bucket or glass container. 

In prescribing the ban on campfires, Washington State Parks is following the lead of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which Tuesday notified the public of a ban on all outdoor burning on lands protected by DNR. That agency has fire protection responsibility on approximately 50 percent of state park lands. The State Parks ban on open fires and campfires in all state parks is intended to minimize public confusion and cooperate in DNR’s effort to prevent wildfires. 

DNR has said that significant demands are being placed upon fire suppression resources from regional and statewide firefighting efforts. Wildfires are often ignited by lightning, but most fires are caused by human activities, including carelessly tended outdoor fires. 

Boating laws change on July 28

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, its Boating Safety Council and other boating leaders in Washington worked to amend the law to make boating safer in Washington. The change is intended to deter people from operating a boat while under the influence (BUI) by increasing the penalty and making breathalyzer tests mandatory. Read more about the law change in the BUI fact sheet.