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Gov. Inslee announces plan to reopen recreation land next month

Gov. Jay Inslee announces plans to reopen public recreation lands (April 27, 2020).

Governor Jay Inslee announced this afternoon, April 27th, during a live broadcast press conference some public recreation land would be reopened May 5th after having been closed since March by the governor’s “Stay home, Stay safe” order.

Inslee was accompanied by Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Hilary Franz, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind and Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission Director Don Hoch in making the announcement.

Partial lifting of restrictions at yet unspecified locations is set to begin May 5th. Social distancing and other modified behaviors will still be required, Inslee said.

Avoiding crowds and allowing a 6-foot space between everyone making use of the recreational land will be a requirement. “I saw a photo of about 200 people at a trailhead. That’s too dangerous,” Inslee said.

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Inslee emphasized, “This is not a return to normal. It is a beginning of the first phase.” He warned, “if this virus were to spring back,” he may have to order closing recreational areas again.

Specific locations, timing and restrictions are expected to be announced by the public land agencies and the governor’s office in the future.

DNR’s website said, “DNR will be opening public access to our lands May 5th on a rolling basis. Check back after that date for the latest site openings and before you plan your next adventure.”

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