The State of Washington released a list Friday of 13 state parks slated to close under Governor Chris Gregoire’s budget proposal. The State Parks Department says it’s targeting low-profile properties, as correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.
State parks chief Rex Derr is the keeper of the list.
Rex Derr: “Lake Osoyoos in Oroville up near the Canadian border in Central Washington, Brooks Memorial State Park on Satus Pass near Goldendale….”
And the list goes on. It’s all part of a $10 million cost-cutting plan. Derr says the 13 parks were already identified as ones that local governments should take over.
That’s still the goal, but for now the plan is to simply lock the gates and wait out the recession. Derr says bringing back a $5 day-use fee was not an option.
Rex Derr: “The Governor made it clear: no new taxes, no new fees, our budget, her budget – they're both consistent in that way.”
Derr says if the park closures are approved, 30 jobs are on the line plus 14 probationary rangers who have yet to go through a training academy.
Washington State Parks Slated for Closure
Old Fort Townsend
Source: Washington State Parks Department