State Parks 2014 calendar, Discover Pass make great gifts

December 13, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 13, 2013

Looking for a gift for that person who has everything? How about something that commemorates the state — a state parks calendar or a Discover Pass.

The Washington State Parks 2014 wall calendar features brilliant color photos that represent some of the park system’s premier and unique features, as well as beautiful photos of wildlife that can be seen in state parks.

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Christmas Boat Parade hits Lake Sammamish

December 3, 2013

A new tradition begins this year with the first parade of boats decked out in holiday lights on Lake Sammamish at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 (rain date Dec. 8) at the state park beach.

Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park invite the public to sing carols around a bonfire and sip hot chocolate while enjoying the magic of the twinkling lights on the boats from the beach at the park. Visitors will need a Discover Pass to enter the park or pay a $10 admission fee per carload.

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Come see holiday lights at Christmas Boat Parade on Lake Sammamish on Dec. 7

November 26, 2013

NEW — 4 p.m. Nov. 26, 2013

A new tradition begins this year with the first parade of boats decked out in holiday lights on Lake Sammamish at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 (rain date Dec. 8) at the state park beach.

Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park invite the public to sing carols around a bonfire and sip hot chocolate while enjoying the magic of the twinkling lights on the boats from the beach at the park.

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Come to state park today to welcome salmon back

September 14, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 14, 2013

Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park are welcoming salmon home to Issaquah Creek from noon to 5 p.m. today at Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road.

Visitors can learn about the two organizations as well as a number of other local groups focused on environmental stewardship.

Volunteer guides will explain the characteristics of the ideal creek habitat for salmon, identify the salmon species swimming in Issaquah Creek and describe the salmon lifecycle. The newly constructed boardwalk will be open for the public to explore the delta and lake shore at the mouth of Issaquah Creek.

Vehicle access to Lake Sammamish State Park requires a Discover Pass or a $10 daytime parking pass.

Learn more about the hatchery here. Like the Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park here.

Sasquatch family helps drivers avoid $99 ticket

August 27, 2013

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources has launched a video campaign featuring a Sasquatch family to remind people that a Discover Pass is required when visiting Washington state-managed recreation lands.

The video is available at

The Discover Pass is a vehicle access pass required on all Washington state-managed recreation lands. The fine for not displaying a Discover Pass is $99.

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Offer ideas for future of Lake Sammamish State Park

December 4, 2012

Lake Sammamish State Park, a 512-acre urban oasis surrounded by Issaquah and a destination long overdue for a makeover, is in the spotlight again as city and state officials seek residents’ ideas for the park’s future.

Issaquah and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission leaders scheduled a Dec. 10 open house about the state park. The event is meant to restart the conversation about options for the park, including a stalled plan approved in 2007 and meant to guide upgrades to aging facilities and the expansion of recreation opportunities.

Options to revive the plan could include a partnership between the state parks agency, city and a nonprofit organization to help the park. The state parks agency is also open to commercial ventures on parkland as a potential way to generate funds for the facility.

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State adds flexible start date to Discover Pass

November 23, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 23, 2012

State agencies encourage holiday shoppers to consider a Discover Pass as a gift for family and friends interested in the outdoors.

Officials added a feature recently to allow purchasers to choose the pass’ start date. The option is available to customers who purchasing the pass at, or in person from authorized retailers through the Washington Interactive Licensing Database, or WILD, system.

The pass is available in Issaquah at Big 5 Sporting Goods, Fred Meyer and Sports Authority.

The buyer can activate the pass immediately or on any day within one year of purchase.

State legislators passed the option into law in 2012 to allow greater flexibility to outdoor recreation enthusiasts, including people interested in giving the pass as a gift.

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Parks waive fees for all on Veterans Day weekend

November 6, 2012

Residents can explore the outdoors for free as state and national parks waive entrance fees for Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 10-12.

Lake Sammamish, Squak Mountain and other state parks do not require a Discover Pass during the holiday weekend. The waiver also applies to lands run by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the state Department of Natural Resources, including Tiger Mountain State Forest.

The fee waiver encompasses all 398 national parks — including Washington’s Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic national parks.

Head to Beaver Lake for hatchery rainbow trout

November 6, 2012

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is planning to release some of those big rainbow trout you may have seen in a rearing pond at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. In fact, you may have fed them through the fence with fish food provided by the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery during Salmon Days.

Dallas Cross

Beaver Lake in Sammamish will be the fortunate recipient site. The department announced it will release about 2,000 rainbow trout weighing from 2-3 pounds, and open the lake for fishing at sunrise Nov. 8. The lake was to be closed for fishing Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the reopening.

The daily limit for Beaver Lake is five fish of which only two may exceed 15 inches in length. Two of those big trout should be more than enough to feed most families.

Now, here is an easy-to-access, urban lake that is close by and only 15 minutes from downtown Issaquah. To cast and wade from shore, do so from Beaver Lake Park, maintained by the city of Sammamish. It has a lot of parking and is accessible from Southeast 24th Street that intersects 228th Avenue Southeast at Discovery Elementary School.

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Tiger Mountain is test for commissioner of public lands candidates

October 30, 2012

Tiger Mountain is a destination for hikers, mountain bikers and loggers, and the official responsible for acting as a referee to balance the competing interests is the state commissioner of public lands.

Clint Didier

Peter Goldmark

Republican Clint Didier is challenging the incumbent, Democrat Peter Goldmark, to serve as the top natural resources official in Washington.

The commissioner of public lands leads the state Department of Natural Resources, and oversees about 3 million acres of forests, agricultural land and other properties, as well as about 2.6 million acres of shorelines, tidelands, lakes and rivers.

The position carries outsized influence in the Issaquah area. The agency is often a factor in local policymaking, due to the connections among the Department of Natural Resources, Issaquah City Hall and outdoor recreation groups.

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