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13Dec/06Off

ALERT: Mount Spokane State Park Planning

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SAWS Action Alert 

Email your comments by 12/24/06 to:

    Project lead: Daniel Farber
    E-mail: mtspokane.planning@parks.wa.gov
    Phone: (360) 902-8610
    Fax: (360) 902-8666
    Mail: P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504-2650

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is in the middle of a planning project for Mount Spokane State Park north of Spokane. Your comments will help in the development of a master facility plan and master development plan for the ski concessionaire and will help guide recreation management and resource protection at the park. Three alternatives for the long-term development of the park will be discussed, including potential changes to alpine and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, summer trail use and overnight accommodations. With more than 13,000 acres, Mount Spokane State Park is the largest park in the State Parks system.

From the Mt. Spokane State Park Plan website here are the options we have to pick from http://www.parks.wa.gov/plans/mtspokane/ 

The three alternatives for review are:

Shared Facilities Alternative: This alternative emphasizes providing opportunities for the widest feasible range of recreation activities. Use conflicts are managed through regulation, education and enforcement.

Optimized Experiences Alternative: This alternative emphasizes providing superlative experiences for each recreational user group in the park. If use conflicts could occur between groups, then those uses are separated. If separation is not feasible, then one of the uses may be excluded from the park.

Improved Facilities Alternative: This alternative emphasizes improving the quality of experience in existing recreation areas in the park. Quality ranks over quantity.

SAWS recommends the “Improved Facilities Alternative”. 

The “Optimized Experience Alternative” would give us more trails, but if you read into the details, user conflicts will be settled by removing one of the user groups (read snowmobiles) to improve the experience of the other user groups (read x-country and snowshoe), so snowmobiles could get kicked out. The “Shared Facilities Alternative” is pretty much what we have now. So I think the best option for snowmobilers would be the “Improved Facilities Alternative” as it has a provision for a newer warming hut and more parking.  This would be a big help as sometimes the existing parking lot is full. 

Please e-mail Daniel Farber at mtspokane.planning@parks.wa.gov and tell him you support the “Improved Facilities Alternative” and that you would like Washington State Parks to work closely with the Spokane Winter Knights Snowmobile club and other local clubs to improve and maintain the current trail system. Also mention a newer warming hut and more parking would be very beneficial, and that improved signage for all areas within this park would go a long way to help eliminate conflicts between user groups.

Orin Fitzgerald
Snowmobile Alliance of Western States

Protecting the right to ride for the owners of 303,604 registered snowmobiles (2005) in the western United States.

Copyright © 2006 Snowmobile Alliance of Western States. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to distribute this information in whole or in part, as long as Snowmobile Alliance of Western States (SAWS) is acknowledged as the source. If you are not yet a member of SAWS and you would like receive these alerts, please sign up on our web site today. SAWS is Free to join! http://www.snowmobile-alliance.org/

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