Once on the list to be closed, state now says Federation Forest Park to remain open

State Rep. Christopher Hurst told The Courier-Herald Tuesday afternoon the State Parks and Recreation Commission has reversed course and decided Federation Forest State Park will remain open. Staffing may be reduced, but the park's will be not be locked, as was the plan.

The following is the letter received by Hurst.


May 17, 2011

Dear Representative Hurst,

Thank you for your support of the state parks system and for meeting with me on Monday. We are not out of the woods yet, but without the help of legislators, we would be in a bleak place. I now believe we will be able to get by with staffing changes and some additional help from the community at Federation Forest State Park (and the other parks in your district), rather than the "zero service" scenario that we were facing.

As you well know, funding for all public services has been subject to reductions of historic proportions. State Parks budget is no exception. Without the Discover Pass, it is likely that many of the 119 Washington state parks would have been at risk for "zero service." Zero service means gates would be closed, electricity and water turned off, buildings and restrooms closed and no staff available for public safety or public service. It is hard to imagine such a decimated state park system. There are still challenges, but with the Discover Pass signed into law the outlook is much improved.

We believe at this time that we will be able to make the transition and, for at least 2011, maintain most of the services at the state parks, including Federation Forest State Park. There may be some service level reductions that could possibly include reductions in hours and ,days of operation, and staffing will be different at many of the state parks. We will make our best effort to retain services as we make this transition.

Thanks again for meeting with me and for your support of the state parks. It is also important that we continue to urge the community to support the state park system by providing additional funding and volunteers, which have always been an integral p'art of keeping our state parks healthy. Even though there will be some changes in operations at Federation Forest State Park, it will not be closing or reduced to a "zero service" facility.


Don Hoch, director

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