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The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will meet in Winthrop, in North Central Washington, for its regular meeting next week.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 29, at Sun Mountain Lodge, 604 Patterson Lake Road, Winthrop. 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 convened six times a year at locations around the state.
The Commission will consider an action directing staff to develop a real estate management policy intended to guide the designation of lands appropriate and suitable for lease, exchange, transfer or sale. State Parks staff will ask the Commission for a formal decision to delay consideration of requests to transfer any entire state park while a policy is being developed.
The Commission consideration of a unified real estate management policy comes at a time when staff is engaged in several real estate-related efforts that likely will require Commission policy decisions. These include a state Capital Budget proviso that requires the agency to analyze land holdings and identify those not appropriate for future park use; transfer proposals from other government jurisdictions; and agency Transformation Strategy initiatives that expand the use of agency land holdings to generate revenue in ways that are compatible with the State Parks mission.
In another agenda item, the Commission will consider transferring its partial interest in a portion of property known as the Mercer Slough Nature Park to the City of Bellevue. The City has been the sole manager of the park under a 1985 cooperative agreement with State Parks.
The Commission also will consider authorizing the agency director to consider a timber harvest in conjunction with anticipated development of a new parking area, restroom facilities and trailhead at the Miller Peninsula State Park property near Sequim. The property is held for future development, but there is extensive ongoing public trail use at the site. Establishing an interim trail plan and some basic services at the trailhead access is intended to help State Parks more effectively manage the resources on the property.
Prior to director authorization of a tree harvest or development at the trailhead site, the agency will have a public meeting to discuss an interim trail plan based on current trail uses—hiking, biking and horseback riding. The agency director must adopt a plan before any site development could begin. Net proceeds from tree harvest are designated for agency use in restoring forest, managing forest health, reducing risk and providing forest health-related education to the public.
The Miller Peninsula property is more than 2,800 acres in size and has been under State Parks’ management since the early 1990s. In 2005, the agency led a public exercise to develop a preliminary vision for a future park at the site; however, funding has not been available to move forward with formal park planning since that time.
Also on the agenda are several reports that will be presented to the Commission, including the agency Transformation Strategy’s natural heritage initiative; agency financial update; capital construction program updates; the agency’s archaeology program; and staff reports.
For more information about the agency’s Transformation Strategy, visit: http://www.parks.wa.gov/152/Beyond-2013
Work session: A Commission work session is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, the day prior to the Commission meeting. The work session also will take place at Sun Mountain, 604 Patterson Lake Road, Winthrop. Work sessions are open to the public, however the Commission hears no public testimony and takes no formal action at work sessions. Topics on the work session information lineup include open government training; operations maintenance update; report on law enforcement; agency strategic planning; role of the Commission; 2015-17 operating and capital budget development.
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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.
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.