Press Release

October 12, 2022

State Parks holds virtual open house on Squilchuck forest health project

Forest thinning will begin this fall

OLYMPIA – Oct. 12, 2022 – Washington State Parks will hold a virtual open house on an upcoming forest health project at Squilchuck State Park. The purpose of this meeting is to share updates about the project and answer questions.

The meeting will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18 via Microsoft Teams. Attendees do not need to download Teams to join; they can use a web browser on a computer or mobile phone.

Join the Microsoft Teams Meeting here.

State Parks will conduct a forest health thinning project at Squilchuck. The work will occur between November of 2022 and March of 2023.

The agency will hire a logging contractor to thin approximately 67 acres on the park's southern and eastern boundary. This undertaking will remove smaller, weaker, less fire tolerant trees to reduce fuel loads, promote resiliency to wildfire and bark beetles, return the forest to more historic conditions and improve the health and vigor of remaining trees by reducing competition.

Project details are available at Forest Practices Permit #2707330 through the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website.

Preparation for the work is currently underway. Visitors may see paint, flagging and signs within the park. For the safety of the public and work crews, visitors are asked not to disturb markings in the park.

Once the project is complete, additional work may include managing logging slash, revegetating disturbed soils and controlling noxious weeds. These activities may take several more seasons of monitoring and treatment to complete.

Parts of the park and trail system will be closed during logging operations. Squilchuck is known for its hiking and mountain biking trails, and any damaged trails will be repaired. The agency anticipates reopening those trails by fall of 2023. Parks staff urges visitors to stay away from closed parts of the park for their own safety and that of the work crews.

Human suppression of wildfires has left many forests in eastern Washington with an overabundance of trees that increase the risk of catastrophic fires and degrade forest health. Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is committed to stewardship of our parks for future generations, which includes reducing wildfire risk to the surrounding community and protecting and improving parks' natural resources.

News media contact:

David Cass, Agency Forester (360) 386-2990

About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Park 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.