Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562
Streamlined policies, grant projects and trail naming among actions to be considered
OLYMPIA – March 14, 2018 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission meets next week in Monroe, where the agenda will include revisions to fee policies to allow greater flexibility for addressing operating and business needs.
The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, March 22, at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds 4-H Building, 14405 179th Ave. S.E., Monroe. (Driving directions). The Commission’s regular meetings are six times a year in pre-determined 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.
State Parks’ existing fee policy introduces the concept of variable pricing based on demand factors and sets specific camping prices. Currently, adjustment of camping prices beyond a certain range requires revision by Commission vote. The Commission will consider delegating fee-setting authority to the director so that the agency can operate more like a business, for example, providing discounts for last-minute vacancies at campsites and cabins.
The Commission also will consider adding a statement of intent for guidance to fee setting. Fees are intended to help recover costs of operation, balance revenue and service goals and help accomplish park management objectives. Since the park system provides broad public benefit, the intention of charging fees for facilities and services is not to cover all costs; rather, it is to charge fees for facilities and services as part of a comprehensive mix of public and private support for the park system.
On another matter, the Commission will consider authorizing the director to move forward to seek grant funding from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) State Parks Category for the 2019-21 biennium. Projects must be vetted and ranked in advance as part of the process. Between 40 and 50 percent of WWRP State Parks category grant funds must be spent on property acquisitions, which may fill in long-term boundaries of parks, solve boundary and inholding issues or preserve properties for parks and recreation needs in the future. The remaining grant funds are to be used to develop new features such as campground loops, ADA feature, trails, bridges and more. State Parks staff must file grant applications in May with the Washington Recreation Conservation Office, which administers the program.
In other business, the Commission will consider:
- Adopting streamlined real estate policies to improve the process for reviewing and approving leases and easements.
- Modifying land classifications for Fort Ebey State Park to accommodate bike use on three trails.
- Adding three properties totaling approximately 350 acres for recreation to the long-term park boundary at Moran and Obstruction Pass State Parks.
Non-action items on the agenda include a report on the status of a continuing effort to rename the cross-state trail currently known both as Iron Horse State Park Trail and the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. The Commission also will hear financial and legislative reports.
Commission work session
A work session is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 21, at Evergreen State Fairgrounds 4-H Building, 14405 179th Ave. S.E., Monroe. Commission work sessions are open to the public; however, there is no opportunity for public comment, and no formal action is taken.
The work session agenda includes updates from agency staff on Navy interest in use of parks for training purposes; community-based park improvement projects; marketing; a public planning process at Wallace Falls State Park; and planning for future development at Lake Sammamish. The Commission also will receive updates from Jon Snyder, the governor’s policy advisor on outdoor recreation and economic development; and John Floberg, executive director of the Washington State Parks Foundation.
Commission members will gather at Best Western Sky Valley Inn, 19233 State Route 2, Monroe, for a tour from 1:15 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 20. The tour includes discussion with staff from the Snohomish County Parks and Tourism Department and representatives from Sky Valley Tourism. The Commission plans to visit Wallace Falls State Park at 3 p.m.
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