State Parks announces ‘free day’ for Aug. 25

August 24, 2014

NEW – 6 a.m. Aug. 24, 2014

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission wants the public to know that Monday, Aug. 25, is a state parks “free day.”

Day-use visitors will not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks, including Lake Sammamish State Park and Squak Mountain State Park locally.

The free day is in honor of the birthday of the National Park Service, which was established Aug. 25, 1916.

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Campfire burn ban lifted for Western Washington state parks

August 16, 2014

NEW – 6 a.m. Aug. 16, 2014

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has lifted the ban on campfires in Western Washington state parks.

Western Washington is considered the region west of the crest of the Cascade Mountain range. Those include Lake Sammamish State Park and Squak Mountain State Park.

Washington State Parks wants the public to know that park managers have the discretion to restrict campfires in campgrounds, based on their assessment of conditions, which may change quickly.

Campfires are allowed in approved fire pits only. Park managers may also require smaller fires than are normally acceptable.

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Campfires prohibited in all state parks to help prevent wildfires

August 12, 2014

NEW — 9:35 a.m. Aug. 12, 2014

Washington State Parks announced today that campfires in all state parks will be prohibited until further notice to help prevent human-caused wildfires during the hot, dry season on both sides of the Cascade Mountains.

Locally, that includes Lake Sammamish State Park and Squak Mountain State Park.

The prohibition on campfires in state parks complies with the announcement Monday by Washington State Department of Natural Resources, which notified the public of a ban on all outdoor burning on lands protected by the department, through Sept. 30.

That agency has fire protection responsibility for all but a few state parks. Prohibiting open fires and campfires in all state parks is intended to minimize public confusion and cooperate with the department’s effort to prevent wildfires.

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Celebration is May 10 for Squak Mountain land

April 8, 2014

A public celebration is set to commemorate preservation of 226 acres of high-quality forestland in the Issaquah Alps — the result of a partnership between King County and The Trust for Public Land.

The acquisition adds to King County’s Cougar-Squak Corridor parkland. The area was set for logging more than a year ago.

“Our partnership to protect Squak Mountain’s irreplaceable fish and wildlife habitat is cause for celebration,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a news release. “I want to thank The Trust for Public Land and the people of King County on behalf of generations who will enjoy hiking, viewing wildlife and other recreation in this forest.”

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State park campfires banned until further notice

August 6, 2013

Washington State Parks announced July 31 that campfires are banned in all state parks until further notice.

The ban is to help prevent human-caused wildfires during the hot, dry season on both sides of the Cascade Mountains. For the Issaquah area, this affects both Lake Sammamish and Squak Mountain state parks.

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Washington State Parks banS campfires in state parks until further notice

August 2, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 2, 2013

Washington State Parks has announced that campfires are banned in all state parks until further notice.

The ban is to help prevent human-cause wildfires during the hot, dry season on both sides of the Cascade Mountains. For the Issaquah area, this affects both Lake Sammamish and Squak Mountain state parks.

Campers may still use devices that allow for control of combustion, including propane and liquid gas stoves appropriate for camping and backcountry use, propane barbecue devices that do not use solid briquettes, propane or pressurized white gas warming devices that have a shield or base, and solid fuel citronella or other candles in a metal bucket or glass container.

This ban follows a similar ban by the Department of Natural Resources, which has fire protection responsibility of about 50 percent of state park lands.

Squak Mountain State Park parking area closed

May 28, 2013

The day-use parking area of Squak Mountain State Park will be closed until late summer or early fall, according to a news release from the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Forest health issues have been identified in the park. Native tree pathogens, primarily laminated root rot, are attacking Douglas-fir trees in developed areas. The disease, which affects the roots and lower stems of certain conifer tree species, has the potential to cause healthy-looking trees to fall without warning.

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Squak Mountain timber plan concerns conservationists, neighbors

February 8, 2013

NEW — 12:05 p.m. Feb. 8, 2013

High on Squak Mountain, pink plastic strips tied to trees mark 216 acres of forest as a timber harvest area.

Since a timber company purchased the forest and started the process to permit logging on the site, conservationists and nearby residents mobilized to fight the proposal to clear cut the land. The logging opponents said cutting trees on the land could lead to more flooding downhill, damage sensitive fish and wildlife habitat, and add a timber harvest site near conservation lands.

The proposal from Eatonville-based Erickson Logging to harvest timber on 216 acres on the mountainside above Renton-Issaquah Road Southeast galvanized residents on Squak Mountain and near May Creek, a destination for runoff from the mountain.

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Explore state, national parks at no cost for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 15, 2013

NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 15, 2013

Washingtonians can observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Lake Sammamish State Park and other state facilities, Tiger Mountain State Forest and other state forestlands, or in national forests and parks.

Officials at the agencies responsible for state and national public lands waived admission fees for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday.

Visitors do not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks, including Lake Sammamish and Squak Mountain near Issaquah.

Mount Rainier National Park waived entrance fees to the 235,625-acre park. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is waiving fees at more than 74 day-use sites in the forest.

Throughout the year, state and national parks waive entrance fees to promote outdoor recreation.

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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 www.discoverpass.wa.gov, 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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