By Jessi Loerch
I’m looking forward to some time outdoors over the Fourth of July holiday. I don’t have reservations at a state park, and I am kind of glad. Many, many people do, though. State parks are popular over the holiday weekend, and reservations fill up early.
If the Legislature can’t reach a budget deal before Monday, July 1, state parks will close. That will leave many people out of luck, including campers.
Here’s what Jerry Cornfield, our reporter in Olympia said:
“State parks has 7,000 reservations for the first week of July that will be canceled in the event of a shutdown, according to information released by the governor’s office today. This covers camping and events such as weddings and the annual Festival of American Fiddle Tunes at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, which reportedly has 5,000 attendees.”
State parks Director Don Hoch wrote a letter on estimated impacts on June 17. The letter said notices would be sent to those with reservations to warn them of the possibility of shutdown. An excerpt from the letter:
“Currently, due to advance reservations in our 117 parks we will need to notify the public of this potential shutdown in order to provide them with ample opportunity to cancel reservations and make alternative plans. We intend to send notification to all camping reservation holders on Monday, June 24. Event holders, concessionaires, business owners and contractors will need to be notified by June 21. As an example, Fiddle Tunes is an international event held at Fort Worden June 30-July 7 which would need adequate time to prepare. We will await these notifications until we hear more on Wednesday.”