What is re-opening now? Parks, nature areas and recreation land

(STAFF REPORTS/Chewelah Independent)

What is re-opening after Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced the scaling back of restrictions on outdoor activities? On May 5, All state-managed public lands, including state parks, natural areas, and recreation land will open on a rolling basis. State-managed boat launches and marinas will be open for day-use services only; no overnight moorage. Recreational fishing for highland and lowland lakes, and the Columbia River and local hunting for turkey and spring bear.

This also generally applies to all DNR managed lands used for day-use activities, which include trailheads, trails, roads, free flight launch sites, water access sites, day-use areas, and dispersed recreation (off-trail hiking, hunting, target shooting, etc.). The Discover Pass is required to park your vehicle at state recreation lands and water-access sites managed by Washington State Parks (Parks), Washington State Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and DNR.

Some parks may not open immediately due to impacts on rural communities and the potential for crowding. State Parks is working with local communities and its partners to determine the best approach and timing to reopening these areas.

Visitor centers, camping and other overnight accommodations on state-managed lands will remain closed until further notice

The outdoor activities include guidelines and restrictions:

1) Anyone exhibiting any cold or flu-like symptoms shall not participate in outdoor recreation activities.

2) Any state parks, state public lands, hunting and fishing seasons, golf facilities, trails, and other public parks, public lands and trails may be closed at any time if there is reason to believe unsafe conditions exist or social distancing practices are not being adhered to.

3) People must recreate locally: Do not travel farther than necessary and do not stay overnight to recreate.

4) Limit your recreation partners to only those who live within your household unit.

5) Practice social distancing at trailheads, boat launches, and all areas where you encounter others.

6) Utilize facial coverings in any situation where social distancing is not possible.

7) Bring your own food and supplies when possible. This will help protect others in your community.

8) The Golf Alliance of Washington has been working to provide appropriate social distancing and limits on activities. These include spacing out tee times, limits on size of parties, walking-only (unless someone needs to be in the cart for mobility reasons), no on-site beverage or food service (take-away only, just as with other food service) and more.

“Outdoor recreation is one of the best things we can do to promote physical, mental and emotional well-being for Washingtonians during a time of great stress and isolation,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said. “And springtime in our state is Washington at its best and people want to be out enjoying outdoor activities in a safe and responsible way.

“If we see a sharp uptake in the number of people who are getting sick or are not following appropriate steps, then we won’t hesitate to scale this back again. This is not a return to normal. This is only a beginning phase of relaxing outdoor recreation restrictions.”

Public gatherings, events, team sports and camping, among other things, are not resuming at this time.