Pin It

Inland Northwest News-3 

& & State parks may close & & & &

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission may have to close some state parks because it is facing a 6 percent reduction of its budget. Reductions take effect in the next biennial budget period, which begins on July 1, 2001.

During budget submittals in August, Parks and Recreation was asked to cut 2 percent out of its $92.8 million biennial budget, and it's now being asked to cut an additional 4 percent, totaling $3.9 million.

State Parks Commission Chair Joan Thomas said in a prepared statement that the parks system is in such an advanced state of decay that the most responsible approach to a budget reduction is downsizing the system.

"Closing parks seems fundamentally wrong to all of us, but we are already funded below what is necessary to serve the public well," she continued. The state parks report 46.5 million visits per year, up by 43 percent over the last decade.

Based on data collected by the National Association of State Park Directors, Washington's parks have the fourth highest day attendance numbers in the nation, but ranks only 47th in state budget expenditure per visitor.

If the budget passes and parks have to be closed, public hearings would be held at that time to determine which parks may have to close.

"If we need to operate with an even smaller budget, it makes most sense to reduce the number of parks," said Thomas. "That way we can take better care of the parks that remain open."

& & BNSF protest continues & & & &

Hauser, Idaho -- The Friends of the Aquifer (FOA) has sponsored a petition to the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB), requesting that the board assume regulatory authority over the proposed Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) refueling depot to be built here.

"This is one of the few areas that has drinking water this pure," says Lucy Fueller, acting president of FOA and an Idaho resident. "You can't undo damage to the aquifer. If the railroad pollutes this aquifer, you can't just fix it by putting chlorine in the water."

The location of the depot on top of the Spokane-Rathdrum aquifer has been the subject of protests since BNSF first proposed the facility two years ago. The aquifer is the main source of drinking water for an estimated 400,000 residents in Idaho and Washington.

BNSF maintains that the proposed refueling facility, where above ground tanks would hold 500,000 gallons of diesel fuel, is absolutely safe.

A majority of Kootenai County commissioners voted for the facility, attempting to maintain local control over the project instead of having BNSF go over their heads to gain approval from federal authorities. Now FOA is going to federal authorities with the opposite purpose.

"Rather than dealing with lower levels of jurisdiction that may have no bearing on the railroad, we decided to go to the one that does," says Fueller. "The railroad has indicated to us that no one has regulatory power over this particular facility, but we believe the STB does. They have jurisdiction over the entire U.S., and until we are told otherwise, we are going to continue to pursue this avenue." & & - (P.H.) & & & &

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Age of Zaycon
  • Age of Zaycon

    Spokane Valley's Zaycon Fresh found a way to make millions selling meat — and now it's trying to make a lot more
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • Hazy Days of Summer
  • Hazy Days of Summer

    Smoke blankets the region; plus, Patty Murray on the proposed Iran deal
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • Brick by Brick
  • Brick by Brick

    Development continues in downtown Spokane; here are some construction projects that could change the city's urban core
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Saving Seeds: A Seed Library Event

Saving Seeds: A Seed Library Event @ Hillyard Library

Tue., Sept. 1, 6:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Manufacturing Fear

    Spokane's Republican sheriff says members of his own party are dangerously dividing people
    • Aug 12, 2015
  • 'Flip of a Coin'

    A Spokane Valley deputy trained to spot stoned and drunk drivers is wrong nearly as often as he is right, blood tests from drivers show
    • Aug 19, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment




Publisher's Note


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation