WA State Parks, DNR close all state-managed parks, trailheads, recreational areas
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington State Parks and the Department of Natural Resources are closing all parks, trailheads and recreational areas, following Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order on Monday.
Previously, the State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Department of Fish and Wildlife made the decision to close all state parks and wildlife areas.
This new swathe of closures effects state-managed parks in Spokane, including Riverside State Park, Columbia Plateau Trail, Mount Spokane State Park, Crawford State Park and the Centennial Trail.
The Centennial Trail will have all trailheads and restrooms closed.
“What we don’t want is over crowded trailheads, people not keeping their distances, and bathrooms that we cannot keep sanitized,” said State Parks Area Manager, Diana Dupuis, “Closing a park means shutting down our facilities, parking lots, and amenities to the public to keep our staff and the public safe. The land is still there for the public to use.”
Additionally, all lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will close on Thursday, and last for at least two weeks.
Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands, issued the following statement:
“This was not an easy decision. We treasure our forests and trails and beaches as places of rejuvenation and refuge from the chaos of daily life. But, I cannot ignore the unfortunate reality of what we saw this weekend: crowded trails, people shoulder to shoulder, and large gatherings. This behavior undercuts the sacrifices that Washingtonians of all means and ability are making in order to adhere to social distancing. And it undercuts the heroic efforts of our doctors, nurses, and first responders who risk their lives each day responding to this unrelenting epidemic.
“This behavior also makes clear that, while we have taken drastic measures, we have not done enough when it comes to closing areas where large crowds gather and communicating the importance of staying at home and avoiding physical contact with others.
“The disruptions we are experiencing are difficult and challenging – and unprecedented in our lifetimes. But they are necessary. We must bend the curve. And if we all do our part, these temporary disruptions will save countless lives.”
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