State Parks Update, outstations will be more critical

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#1 February 23, 2009 - 5:03pm
Chuck Gould

State Parks Update, outstations will be more critical

The latest news from Washington State Parks is that, in response to increased demands for budget reductions, up to 40 State Parks are now being considered for closure. Some of these may be  "mothballed", or ownership transferred to a non-state governmental agency. I don't have a list of specific parks, but we can fairly safely guess that the list of 40 potential closures probably includes more marine state parks than the half dozen named when the number of potential closures was at 15. All 40 parks may not need to be transferred, closed, or mothballed; but then again perhaps they might. It depends on the final budget agreed to by the legislature and the Governor Gregoire, as well as how deep the state economic hole proves to be when we finally find the bottom.

There have recently been some suggestions to close the Deer Harbor and/or Ganges outstations to free up funds to upgrade the moorage at the main clubhouse. If marine state parks close in the San Juans, that will put additional pressure on those that remain open as well as crowd boats that would otherwise stay at a state park into private or municipal marinas. If fuel prices remain down, more people will be cruising north this year. We are likely to be very grateful for these facilities at Deer Harbor and Ganges if there are significant park closures in the San Juans