Both Hovis and Brand emphasised that the department did not want to be having this conversation, adding that Parks would seek interested local government to take over the parks, and would aim to hand over the parks in as much of a “turn-key” state as possible. When questions were raised as to what if no one wanted the parks, in the example given of Schafer State park where no nearby city would likely support the park, Hovis said the State would likely mothball the park – but there’s a catch.

Schafer state park was deeded to the State under the condition that it remain a state park, open to the public. in the absence of that stipulation, the State would have to give the park back to the Schafer family, Brand said that the department had spoken with the Schafer family, and said that they did not yet say if they would be interested in taking ownership of the park again. Schafer State park has grown since it was donated by the Schafer family anyway; neaby landowners have also donated, and the Parks department has purchased parcels when the option arose; leaving a patchwork of land that Brand said they “just don’t know yet” what will happen.

With many questions left unanswered, Hovis said at the beginning of the meeting that many questions would likely raise more questions, and that Parks staff would be bringing those questions and comments back to the Parks Commission to go over. Hovis said he would make every effort to return answers via email.

Links of interest on this issue:

09-020 State Parks Commission regular meeting in Olympia next week.doc (49 kb)
-updated: 2/26/2009 5:24:15 PM

09-014 Public meeting – Lake Sylvia_Schafer potential transfers.doc (42 kb)
-updated: 2/18/2009 1:19:19 PM

09-009 State Parks Commission announces special meeting.doc (43 kb)
-updated: 2/17/2009 4:21:02 PM