March 11, 2016
Contact: Angie Homola
3602408349

Joseph Whidbey State Park, disturbing news

State Parks - Your Parks - At Risk:

Fight for Joseph Whidbey State Park
March 21, 2016, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
jos_whid_st_park.jpgCoupeville Rec Hall

Few people are aware that our State Parks system, which produces millions of dollars in economic stimulus, watershed recharge, species diversity and migratory habitat, and recreational back woods experiences - have been targeted for privatization.

Our current 10th LD conservative legislators Norma Smith, Dave Hayes and Barbara Bailey (3-R's) told us how much they love our state parks, while simultaneously cutting funding and holdingparks accountable to 'pay for themselves'. Some 11 parks in the state have been labeled "under utilized" and have been slated for privatized facilities. Interestingly, these parks reside in areas adjacent to water, ski areas, etc. with high dollar potential for resort homes and cabins. Yes you heard that right. Private resort homes. Perhaps we should ask elk or falcons how they define under utilized parks. Have a look at the Organic Act for some eloquent and visionary legislation from those who fought for National Parks - our Nation's legacy hallmarks.

On Washington Sate Park "RGBs"

http://parks.state.wa.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/6960

"Background: In January 2015, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Commission) approved some forms of privately financed development on State Parks land. One approved development type is known as a Recreation Business Activity (RBA). RBAs are privately financed recreation developments that are intended to provide amenities for park visitors while also generating revenue to support the state park system. RBAs are conditional activities instate park Recreation, Resource Recreation, and Heritage Areas, meaning they are only allowed in those areas when specifically approved by the Commission."

What is particularly irksome is the lack of transparency in this privatization plan. The rules only require that those in the near vicinity get a mailed notice. If no one lives nearby, no one knows what happened to their park until they drive up one day to see resort homes for rent where they used to hike through the wilderness or fish on a beach in the quiet solitude of nature.

Joseph Whidbey State Park on Whidbey Island is slated for:

"Anticipated Development: This site could be re-developed into a year-round recreational center providing public lodging. Maximum development levels currently considered include:
• Up to 50 cabins
• A central lodge-type structure with food services
• New day-use facilities located northeast of the existing state park-managed facilities
• Dry boat storage facilities

State Parks is, however, willing to consider other proposals that enhance the park and remain
consistent with the agency’s recreation and conservation mission."

You have a chance to comment and hopefully halt this privatization plan:

Joseph Whidbey

"March 21, 2016, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
From: "Washington State Parks Planning" 
Town of Coupeville
Recreation Hall

RE: Washington State Parks to hold 3 public meetings to discuss Recreation Business Activities

The public is invited to participate in a series of workshops relating to Recreation Business Activities (RBAs) in Washington State Parks. Each meeting will focus on one candidate RBA site. At the meetings, the public will learn about State Parks RBAs and have an opportunity to provide input that will be considered at the May meeting of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission."

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