State Parks updates mobile app, issues Walk in the Park GeoChallenge

August 29, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 29, 2014

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has released the next generation of the Pocket Ranger mobile app and is kicking off the Walk in the Park GeoChallenge.

The free mobile app for iPhone and Android was recently overhauled. This interactive outdoor guide, created by the ParksByNature Network, is the ultimate guide to exploring Washington’s state parks.

State Parks and ParksByNature are also partnering with SUBWAY restaurants to launch the newest geochallenge, Walk in the Park, on the Pocket Ranger mobile app. The geochallenge features state parks in 16 Western Washington counties.

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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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State unveils new online map of public lands

August 12, 2014

The state Recreation and Conservation Office recently unveiled a new online, interactive map of natural resource and recreation lands owned by government agencies.

The statewide map allows people to click on a location and learn which agency owns the land, the number of acres, the main use of the land and the cost of acquisition if acquired within the past 10 years.

Information is provided about land owned by cities, counties, the federal government and three state agencies — the state Parks and Recreation Commission, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Department of Natural Resources.

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Law enforcement agencies to conduct on-the-water emphasis patrols Friday and Saturday

June 26, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. June 26, 2014

Law enforcement agencies in Washington state will participate in a national special emphasis campaign to target people who are operating boats while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

The Operation Dry Water campaign and emphasis patrols are June 27-29 throughout Washington and will focus on preventing injury and death in accidents resulting from boating under the influence.

The program is aimed at raising awareness of the problem and getting impaired boat operators off the water by actively enforcing the law that prohibits using alcohol and drugs while operating a boat, according to a news release from the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

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State parks and SUBWAY launch meal program

September 10, 2013

In honor of the Washington State Parks Centennial and National Public Lands Day, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and SUBWAY restaurants have collaborated to launch No Family Left Inside.

The program will reward park visitors by honoring their Discover Pass in all 406 SUBWAY locations in 17 counties throughout Western Washington for the month of September.

Visit a participating store and show the pass to receive a free 6-inch sandwich with the purchase of a 6-inch sandwich of equal or greater value and a 30-ounce drink.

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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 bit.ly/SquatchFamily.

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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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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Leaders needed for Lake Sammamish State Park group

February 5, 2013

The effort to establish a community organization to support Lake Sammamish State Park is on the agenda for a Feb. 14 meeting hosted by the state parks agency.

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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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