Day use at state parks and public lands to re-open on May 5
Public is urged to "recreate responsibly"
April 30, 2020
OLYMPIA-Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Monday, April 27, a partial re-opening of some outdoor recreation activities. Scheduled for Tuesday, May 5, with approriate safety precautions in place, the public can enjoy: fishing; hunting; playing golf; and day use at state parks, state public lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources and at state Fish and Wildlife areas. Boat launches will also re-open.
The public is cautioned that it may take several days for gates to be unlocked and sites to be serviced at remote areas due to limited staff capacity.
Visitor centers, camping and other overnight accommodations on state-managed lands will remain closed until further notice.
"Outdoor recreation is one of the best things we can do to promote physical, mental and emotional well-being for Washingtonians during a time of great stress and isolation," Inslee said. "And springtime in our state is Washington at its best and people want to be out enjoying outdoor activities in a safe and responsible way.
"If we see a sharp uptake in the number of people who are getting sick or are not following appropriate steps, then we won't hesitate to scale this back again. This is not a return to normal. This is only a beginning phase of relaxing outdoor recreation restrictions."
State land managers recommend people come prepared and bring their own handwashing supplies, toilet paper and personal protective equipment as some sites will have reduced or limited restroom facilities. People should also be prepared to change plans if their destination appears crowded or is not yet fully operational.
If sites become overcrowded or other COVID-19 related public safety concerns develop, state agencies may close areas with limited notice to further protect public health and safety.