August 3, 2011
Discover Pass revenue helping to reopen closed recreation areas
State DNR reopens campgrounds in Ahtanum State Forest
OLYMPIA – One month after the state launched the Discover Pass on July 1, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reopened Snow Cabin Campground in the Ahtanum State Forest. DNR closed the campground in 2009 after experiencing a nearly 50-percent cut to its recreation funding. The same year, DNR also closed or reduced services to about two dozen recreation facilities, trailheads, and day-use facilities across the state.
Thanks to the recreating public who has purchased a Discover Pass, DNR can begin to reopen recreation access to DNR-managed lands across the state, including Snow Cabin Campground. On July 1, DNR reopened Ahtanum Meadows Campground. Snow Cabin Campground, which is located above 5,000 feet, still had too much snow on the ground to open last month. In addition, crews were busy catching up on much-needed maintenance removing hazardous, diseased trees that posed a threat to public safety in the campground area.
“The Discover Pass is already making more recreation access possible on DNR-managed lands,” said Mark Mauren, DNR’s Recreation Program Manager. “Over the next few months, DNR will restore services and reopen more recreation opportunities on state trust lands.”
Snow Cabin Campground is the westernmost facility on the North Fork Ahtanum Creek Road. The campground has eight primitive campsites with a vault toilet and no running, potable water. DNR has replaced or refurbished picnic tables and added new fire pits. The name of the campground refers to a long-gone cabin that was used for monitoring snow levels. Ahtanum Meadows Campground is the most readily accessed camping area in the forest.
As with most DNR campgrounds, campsites at Snow Cabin and Ahtanum Meadows are available on a first-come, first-served basis only. The agency does not take reservations for most of its campgrounds.
Directions to Snow Cabin Campground
From Yakima, go south on I-82 for 2 miles to Union Gap. Go west on Ahtanum Road past Tampico, follow until you get to Ahtanum Camp. Take North Fork Ahtanum Road (A-3000) west for about 5.5 miles. Snow Cabin Campground is on the left.
Discover Pass—providing access to 7 million acres of state recreation lands
Snow Cabin Campground and many other state lands managed by DNR, Washington State Parks, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife now require a Discover Pass for recreation access. More information about the Discover Pass may be found at: www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
For maps and a list of DNR-managed state trust lands that require a Discover Pass, visit www.dnr.wa.gov/recreation .
Status of recreation opportunities on state trust lands
DNR provides updates about the recreation areas it manages, including what’s open, what’s closed, and any special advisories such as timber harvest operations or seasonal schedules. Visit www.dnr.wa.gov/recreation .
Recreation on DNR-managed lands
DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, aquatic, agricultural, conservation and urban lands. Most recreation on these lands takes place in the 2.9 million acres of forests that DNR manages as state trust lands. By law, state trust lands are managed to produce income for schools, universities, prisons, state mental hospitals, community colleges, local services in many counties, and the state’s General Fund. State trust lands are also managed to provide fish and wildlife habitat and educational and recreational opportunities.
DNR-managed state trust lands provide 1,100 miles of trails, 143 recreation sites, and a variety of landscapes throughout Washington State. Recreational opportunities include hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, motorized vehicle riding, mountain biking, and boating.
DNR’s main recreation focus is to provide trails, trailhead facilities, and a primitive experience in a natural setting.
Media Contact: Toni Droscher, DNR Recreation Program Communications Manager, 360-902-1523, firstname.lastname@example.org
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