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Posted on: January 17, 2019

Parks Commission meets next week in Tacoma

Correction 1/18/19: The Parks and Recreation Commission meets on Jan. 24, not Jan. 14, as was originally published.

OLYMPIA – Jan. 17, 2019 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will convene its first regular meeting of 2019 in Tacoma next week.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at Titlow Lodge, 8425 Sixth Ave., Tacoma.

Sixth Ave., Tacoma. (Driving directions). Commission 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 The meeting will begin with an executive session, then will open to the public portion of the meeting.

As part of its action agenda, the Commission will consider minor housekeeping changes to Washington Administrative Code governing use of state parks. Examples of proposed changes to WAC include permit timelines; clarifying rules governing recreational fires and appropriate vehicular practices on ocean beaches; adding “watercraft launches” to the listing of boating facilities managed by parks and clarifying that snowmobiles are the only motorized vehicles allowed on trails seasonally dedicated to winter recreation.

The Commission also will consider changing its park planning terminology from “park long-term boundary” to “park-associated landscape.”  The term is associated with the agency’s Classification and Management Planning (CAMP) process. State Parks staff works with the public to adopt land classifications and create management plans for parks. About 70 percent of the agency’s 124 state parks and well over 80 percent of its land base have gone through the CAMP process to date. During CAMP, planners and public participants also take a big-picture look at what lands, independent of ownership, would advance the conservation and recreation mission of a park. The big-picture look can include private land and has, at times, caused needless alarm to landowners.

The change in terminology is being proposed because the activity was never intended to pressure landowners to sell, but rather to identify future potential of lands for park uses. In such cases where private lands are identified and landowners are interested, State Parks may enter shared-property management agreements, solicit conservation easements, accept donations, exchange agency-owned property for private property or purchase private property. State Parks staff believes that removing the word “boundary” from the concept will better reflect the non-binding nature of the designation.

In other business, the Commission will adopt the director’s 2019 performance plan and document satisfactory 2018 performance and elect commission officers for 2019. Additionally, several reports will be presented, including a Boating Program update, financial and budget reports and a legislative update.

Commission work session
A work session is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Titlow Lodge, 8425 Sixth Ave., Tacoma. Commission work sessions are open to the public; however, there is no opportunity for public comment, and no formal action is taken. The agenda includes executive staff reports, as well as:

  • An update on work underway with the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group to develop a climate change adaptation plan for State Parks.
  • A discussion with Tacoma Metro Parks leadership about common trends and issues.
  • A report on how the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) informs agency decision-making.
  • An update on a CAMP process currently underway for the Blue Mountain Area parks, which include Palouse Falls, Lyons Ferry and Lewis and Clark Trail state parks.
  • Discussion about developing the Commission’s 2021-23 strategic plan.
  • A real estate update.

Commission tour
Commission members will gather Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma sites for several tours and discussions:

  • 1:35 p.m. – Eastside Community Center/First Creek Middle School Campus, for a discussion on partnerships, whole child access, sports fields, turf and lights.
  • 2:30 p.m. – Ruston Way, Point Ruston, Dune Peninsula, Wilson Way and Point Defiance Marina for discussion on climate change, joint capital planning and deferred maintenance.
  • 3:20 p.m. – Point Defiance Park maintenance shops, Triangle, Pagoda, Owen Beach, Fort Nisqually Living History Museum and 5-Mile Drive, to discuss forest health, infrastructure replacement, parking and traffic management.
  • 4 p.m. – Environmental Learning Center and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, to discuss joint operations and management, capital bonds, applied learning and conservation management.

News media contact:
Virginia Painter, Communications Director, (360) 902-8562


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.

 News release number: 19-001

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