As August begins, many of us are planning our second (or third, or fourth) camping trip of the summer. The sun-filled August days and crisp starry nights are the perfect time to get out into the wild and experience the natural abundance of Washington state.
This month’s WWRP category, State Lands Development and Renovation, includes many campsite projects. Let’s take a look at a very highly-ranked proposed campsite project: the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area Campground Renovations.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife applied for a WWRP State Lands Development and Renovation grant to renovate ten campgrounds in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, which is located between the towns of Loomis and Conconully in Okanogan County. The department plans to use part of the money to formalize campsites by installing fire rings, picnic tables, and grading parking and camping spots. The department also plans to renovate pathways to restrooms so they are accessible to people with disabilities—making good on the slogan “outdoors for all.”
Updating these campsites would increase opportunities for Washingtonians trying to escape the over-crowded campsites of Mount Rainier and other more popular/trafficked areas, and would boost Washington’s greater outdoor economy as well as the local economy in rural Okanogan County.
But the current budget impasse has put these funds on hold indefinitely. Since the legislature has not been able to agree upon a Capital Construction Budget, this project is currently stuck in limbo until an agreement can be reached. The Coalition continues to advocate for a speedy decision on this important subject, so that valuable new WWRP grants will received the funding they deserve.