Apparently, it’s not just people losing jobs during this economic crisis. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission may close 14 of its 121 state parks. Why? To save money.
A commission spokeswoman told a local Washington newspaper, The Olympian, it’s looking at transferring low-priority parks to local governments or nonprofit groups. For example, the commission would close the marine day-use park near Lacey, Tolmie State Park, citing that the park draws mostly local visitors and doesn’t maintain a campground.
According to the commission’s web page, Tolmie State Park is a 105-acre marine day-use park with 1,800 feet of saltwater shoreline on Puget Sound. The park offers a variety of beach-side activities and an underwater park built by scuba divers. Additionally, the park is host to more than 30 species of fish and wildlife.
Yup. Sounds like a drag to me.
The Olympian reports that the 14 state parks were compiled on a list after several parks were closed in 2002. “The commission rated all state parks for their location, scenic views, cultural resources and potential to make money,” says The Olympian.
The spokeswoman, Virginia Painter, says there are no plans to sell parks to developers or commercial interests.
For now, the plan will be subject to debate in the Washington Legislature.