CAMP meeting raises many questions
An overflow crowd came out on Thursday January 7 to find out from representatives of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission how the park lands they use could change as a result of long range planning for South Whidbey State Park, Possession Point State Park and tidelands at Useless Bay and Double Bluff.
There were maps showing alternate use scenarios, handouts detailing land classifications, explanations of the planning process and a presentation, but few answers.
Park Ranger Jon Crimmons and State Parks Planner Randy Kline read comments posted by participants.
Participants discuss alternatives for Useless Bay tidelands.Photos by Sue Ellen White
Two management options were presented for each location. For South Whidbey State Park, alternative #1 would keep the existing day use and group camp area as they are; the rest of the campground would be closed to campers but open to "resource recreation." It would also give better protection to areas of the Classic U forest. Alternative #2 would reopen the campgrounds and provide slightly more protection than current in the Classic U forest. Both alternatives would allow more shoreline uses at the park.
The complex matrix of classifications showing uses and activities permitted under each requires careful reading by those who want to make specific or detailed comments on the alternatives.
Many questions were posted by participants on each map and parks officials indicated that they would consider ways to answer, as they did not provide answers at the meeting.
Following the meeting, State Parks planner Randy Kline said that an additional meeting would be useful: “Our goal is to make sure that individuals have all the information they need to make productive and useful comments. If that takes another meeting, no problem. These planning issues are complex and it’s exciting that Whidbey Island residents are so willing to engage in the process. Look for a question and answer meeting to occur in the Freeland area in late February/early March.”
The presentation and planning materials are available on the State Parks http://parks.state.wa.us/964/South-Whidbey-Possession-Point-and-Usele along with a summary of the process and a way to comment.