LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS: Free entry to national and state parks this weekend

By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News

VETERANS DAY IS a holiday where we talk a good game about honoring those who have served and saved this country, but for the most part, it’s an ordinary day.

But not for everybody.

Washington State Parks knows how to party, Veterans Day-style.

In honor of Veterans Day (which is Monday, for those too ashamed to ask) entry to all 117 state parks will be free from Saturday through Monday.

This is the last of 2013’s free days, when a Discover Pass is not required to enjoy a state park.

Now, as I found out the hard way in August, a national park and a state park have different rules. This free weekend applies to state parks, such as Fort Worden.

But wait!

The National Park Service also is honoring veterans by not charging the typical $15 entrance fees to visit its parks, such as Olympic National Park.

Before you go, though, check the road conditions at www.tinyurl.com/pdnONProads.

This time of year, the roads of Olympic National Park can close on short notice if they’re deemed unsafe.

For instance, the road to Hurricane Ridge was closed Wednesday afternoon due to ice.

You also can phone 360-565-3131 for current road information.

The Ridge’s Twitter page is still in hibernation mode, probably until ski season.

Another thing to know about going up to Hurricane Ridge, should the roads reopen: Maintenance work is scheduled on the tunnels through the middle of this month, so anticipate one-lane traffic delays.

Hunter-angler rep sought

The state Parks and Recreation Commission’s Recreational Boating Safety Program invites hunters or anglers who use a boat in their sport to apply for an open position on the program’s Boating Safety Advisory Council.

An application, letter of interest, resume and three references are due Tuesday, Nov. 19.

If nothing else, this is a good chance to sharpen your job-searching skills.

The Boating Safety Advisory Council is a 15-member committee that provides recommendations to the program on ways to enhance boating safety statewide for all types of recreational boating. The term of service for the position is three years.

The council meets four times a year —typically twice in the spring and twice in the fall — at the Washington State Parks headquarters in Tumwater.

Council members are selected from applications and appointed by the commission or a designee.

The committee is composed of members from boating clubs with statewide membership, citizens at large and public agencies.

Membership includes the Northwest Marine Trade Association, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Recreational Boating Association of Washington, Northwest Boating Council, Association of Washington Cities, Washington Association of County Officials, U.S. Power Squadrons, Pacific International Yachting Association and Washington Water Trails Association.

Also represented on the committee are other segments of boating, including safety education, unaffiliated boaters, manual-powered watercraft owners, personal watercraft owners, anglers and hunters and whitewater boaters.

To request an application, contact Doni Thomas, boating program administrative assistant, at 360-902-8832 or doni.thomas@parks.wa.gov.

Application materials may be submitted by email or by regular mail to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, Boating Programs, P.O. Box 42654, Olympia, WA 98504-2654.

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Sports Editor Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at lhorton@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 06. 2013 6:02PM
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