How Sledding will be Affected by the Federal Government Shut Down
Posted12/29/18 at 10:39 AM

Washington State Snowmobile Association (WSSA) received the following message from Washington State Parks regarding how the Federal Government shut-down it will affect our State's Winter Recreation Program.  See message below:
 
 
Good afternoon,

 As we enter the second week of the Federal Government shutdown, we are faced with high use areas going ungroomed and impacts on plowing.  I will attempt to make this simple, however, please realize that these processes must follow contractual rules, are time sensitive and costly. 

Plowing:
I have heard from the Naches Ranger District and the Cle Elum Ranger District.  Naches will continue to plow the Bumping Lake Sno-Park (non-motorized) and Cle Elum Ranger District will continue to plow their sno-parks once per week prior to the weekends (Taneum, French Cabin, Salmon La Sac, Blewett Pass, Pipe (NM) and Swauk (NM). 

Sanitation:
Some areas of sanitation are provided by the USFS, therefore, although the facilities are unlocked, there may not be any amenities within (toilet paper), therefore, people may want to bring some from home.  These sanitary facilities provided by the USFS are mostly on Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens, also the Colville Area, Naches. (If in doubt, take paper along)   The popular I-90 Corridor are portable units and serviced weekly by private contracts. 

Grooming:
We are entering into an agreement with two separate contractors for grooming. 
A private contractor will use privately owned equipment to groom Kachess/Gold Creek once per week through January unless the Federal Government resolves the budget issues and returns to full operation prior to that date. 

A private contractor will use program owned equipment to groom Blewett/Reecer Creek once per week through January unless the Federal Government resolves the budget issues and returns to full operation prior to that date. 

A private contractor will use privately owned equipment to groom the Salmon La Sac campground (NM).  They will not set tracks and will just be establishing a base for users.  They are being asked to do this twice during the potentially 5 week period. 

Other areas will be ungroomed, i.e., Mineral Springs, Bumping Lake, Geophysical, Frater Lake.  Please check our web site for updates.

Please understand that although we are providing limited services, I believe that we can provide basic services (access and sanitation) and limited grooming for our visitors.  We are hopeful that the Federal Government will resolve the budget issues and return to work quickly.  The cost of providing these services using private contractors may have a significant impact on the remaining budget for the USFS upon their return to work.  We thank the two private contractors that have agreed to take on this additional work load during their very busy season.  Please be assured that we explored many options and find that this is the most reasonable alternative. 

I wish you all a very Happy New Year! 

Pamela A. McConkey, Manager
Winter Recreation Program
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
 
Matt Mead
WSSA Publicity Secretary

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