New name for state park in Westport

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The Washington and Recreation Commission is holding a workshop to gather feedback from the public on naming a park, land classifications and possible concession operations at and .

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday night August 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. at McCausland Hall, 2201 Westhaven Drive, Westport.

In December 2015, State Parks acquired a 297-acre property between Westhaven State Park and Westport Light State Park—making one park out of two.

At the workshop, State Parks will gather ideas on what the new, larger state park should be named.

Land classifications determine which parts of a state park should be kept in a more natural state and which are suitable for higher-intensity recreational developments.

The land classifications for Westhaven and Westport Light state parks were adopted by the State Parks and Recreation Commission in 2007.

Recently, it was brought to State Parks’ attention that some of the areas classified to allow higher-intensity recreational developments may not be suitable because of wetlands.

At the Aug. 31 workshop, State Parks will seek comment from the public on proposed new land classifications for the park. Definitions of State Parks land classifications system are here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=352-16-020

State Parks is also considering the development of park visitor amenities—to be operated by private or outside concessionaires.

Amenities could include cabins or food service and would be located in specific areas of the park.

Concessions would provide park visitors with new experiences and amenities that are beyond State Parks’ financial capacity, while generating lease revenue to help operate the park system.

Allowing concessions does not mean the agency is attempting to privatize state parks.

At the workshop, State Parks staff will explain the concept of concessions and discuss areas of the parks under consideration for these amenities.

Staff will ask for public comment about the concept, the site proposals, park-specific development restrictions and types of new recreational facilities the public could support.

The State Parks Commission will consider the feedback gathered from this workshop and from online comments at its next regular meeting on Sept. 22, in .

Project information and a comment form are available on the State Parks website at http://parks.state.wa.us/900/Real-Estate-Policy-Update. For questions, contact Nikki Fields, Parks Planner, (360) 902-8658 or planning@parks.wa.gov.

State Parks staff recently initiated a public outreach process to get feedback on a list of candidate parks for possible major concession.

Westhaven and Westport Light state parks are among the sites that generated the most interest.

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