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State Parks Commission regular meeting scheduled for Gig Harbor next week
OLYMPIA – Nov. 6, 2013 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will gather in Gig Harbor for its regular meeting next week.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at Gig Harbor City Hall, 3510 Grandview Ave., Gig Harbor. A full Commission meeting agenda is available online at www.parks.wa.gov/agency/commissionmeetings/. Time for public comment is provided at all regular Commission meetings, which are scheduled a year in advance and convened six times a year at locations around the state.
The Commission will consider authorizing staff to begin developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze potential impacts of classifying lands and allowing additional ski area development at Mount Spokane State Park near Spokane. If approved, the Commission will set a work timeline that could result in the release of a final EIS in summer 2014.
In 1999, the Commission adopted land classifications for the park but left unclassified the 850-acre portion of the park known as the Potential Alpine Ski Expansion Area (PASEA). In 2011, the Commission approved a classification that would allow development of the area, on condition of an EIS to follow. Mount Spokane 2000, a non-profit ski organization with a longtime downhill ski concession in the park, had proposed to expand the ski area to add downhill runs on the back side of the mountain. A recent Court of Appeals decision determined that State Parks should complete an EIS before determining final land classifications. Staff is proposing that the Commission adopt land classifications for the entire PASEA at the same time; the EIS approach proposed by staff would consider a variety of recreation uses and identify multiple classification alternatives.
Also on the agenda is consideration of a Classification and Management Plan proposal for Camano Island State Park near Stanwood. The public planning process for the park identified a long-term boundary and land classifications, as well as a potential salmon habitat restoration project, addition of cabins and public programs and greater opportunities for volunteer and community partnerships.
The Commission also will consider adopting capital improvement priorities to be used as the agency begins to prepare its 2015-17 budget request. Recommended categories would focus on projects that reduce risk, benefit all Washingtonians, generate revenue, reduce costs, encourage use of parks, engage volunteers and donors and advance partnerships.
Also to be considered is the installation of a plaque at Mount Constitution in Moran State Park, to commemorate the work of John Lagreid, a stonemason who supervised the tower’s original construction and oversaw park masonry work performed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The Mount Constitution Tower in the park on Orcas Island is one of the best-known CCC constructions in the state.
Additionally, the Commission will hear reports on the 2012-13 Winter Recreation Program, an agency financial report and a legislative report.
Work session: A work session is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at Gig Harbor City Hall. Work sessions are open to the public, however no public testimony is heard and no formal Commission action is taken at work sessions. Work session topics include a presentation on Peter Puget, deferred maintenance; joint agency Discover Pass implementation; human resources update; tree risk issues; housing update and the State Parks Transformation Strategy.
Commission tour: Commission members will gather for a brief park tour at 8:30 Friday, Nov. 15, at Kopachuck State Park, 10712 56th St. N.W., Gig Harbor.
Stay connected to your state parks by following Washington State Parks at www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateParks, www.twitter.com/WaStatePks_NEWS, www.foursquare.com/WAStatePks and www.youtube.com/WashingtonStateParks. Share your favorite state park adventure on the new State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. Washington State Parks turned 100 years old on March 19, 2013, and is celebrating Centennial 2013 with events in parks all over the state, all year long. For more information, visit www.parks.wa.gov/events/.
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.