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Posted on: June 16, 2021

State Parks suspends SUP prohibition on Little Spokane River

Final decision will come after evaluation, public input

OLYMPIA – June 16, 2021 – Washington State Parks announces it is suspending its prohibition on stand up paddleboard (SUP) use on the Little Spokane River pending further evaluation of the potential effects of all recreational use on the area’s habitat. In addition, the agency will be looking for input from the recreating public. 

On May 25, State Parks issued a news release announcing the seasonal opening of the St. George’s Put-in at the Little Spokane River Natural Area. The agency also announced it would prohibit SUP use in the natural area. The intent of the prohibition was to protect the area’s natural resources.  

“We heard from many paddlers about this decision who were understandably confused and upset,” said Washington State Parks Director Peter Mayer. “We realized we needed to take a step back and be more thoughtful about how best to protect this environmentally sensitive area and engage the public in identifying solutions.”

The St. George’s put-in is located in Riverside State Park and is a popular place for people to launch kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards. This section of river is part of the Little Spokane River Natural Area, which was established by the State Parks commission in 1987 to conserve its unique natural environment. Recreation is not the primary focus of natural areas. 

Next steps
Parks is working on a process for evaluating the impact of all recreational use on the resource. More information will be forthcoming.

News media contact:
Anna Gill, Communications Director, (360) 902-8562, media@parks.wa.gov.

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About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. 

News release number: 21-033
 

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