News Release 11-020
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W., P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650, (360) 902-8500
Don Hoch, Director
Sandy Mealing: (360) 902-8559
Virginia Painter: (360) 902-8562
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388
State Parks announces emergency closure of Kopachuck State Park campground
May 23, 2011 –
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announces the emergency closure of the campground at Kopachuck State Park, located five miles west of Gig Harbor in Pierce County, due to forest health issues and safety concerns for park visitors. The campground will not reopen in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Park staff noticed a gradual, but growing, pattern of dying trees in the campground. In the wake of the Lake Wenatchee State Park forest health issue, assistance was requested from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) pathologists to help determine the extent of the problem and treatment options. Tree pathogens, in particular laminated root rot, have been found throughout the campground and adjacent forest. This pathogen can cause trees to fail with little or no warning; thus posing a significant risk to visitors, staff and facilities. The root rot must be treated now to prevent aging trees from rapidly succumbing to the pathogens.
The campground will remain closed until assessments can be completed and any necessary corrective action is taken. The day-use area, including the beach access, and group camp will remain open. Visitors may check the park’s webpage at www.parks.wa.gov for updates.
Kopachuck State Park is a 109-acre marine and camping park with 5,600 feet of saltwater shoreline on Henderson Bay. One portion of the park, Cutts Island (or "Deadman's Island") is a half mile from shore and reachable only by boat. The park provides scenic views of sunsets, the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission thanks the public for supporting state parks. Donations made to State Parks through the vehicle license tab renewal program will keep state parks open in the 2009-2011 budget cycle, provided adequate revenues are collected. The Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. The 98-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.
Washington State Parks is now on Twitter at WaStatePks_NEWS and YouTube at WashingtonStateParks.