Press Release
Community Development Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

County Seeks Volunteers For River Access Plan Development

Kittitas County, WA - 11/22/2017 - ELLENSBURG, Wash. – Kittitas County Commissioners are accepting applications from residents interested in helping to develop a plan for improving access to the Yakima River in Kittitas County. The county recently signed a contract with Beckwith Consulting to work directly with a citizen advisory committee to create the plan. Beckwith Consulting previously assisted the county in creating its Event Center Strategic Plan, Tourism Infrastructure Plan, and Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan.

The county is seeking to create a comprehensive strategy for improving access along the entire Yakima River corridor.  This could include enhancements to existing river access sites as well as the creation of new ones.  Volunteers are being sought from all areas of interest and types of user groups including fishermen, boaters, floaters, wildlife habitat advocates, wildlife viewers and photographers, emergency responders, private landowners along the river corridor, and local, state, federal and tribal governments.
 
The planning effort is being paid for with taxes collected by the county on paid overnight accommodations like hotel/motel stays and camping fees.  These funds, known as lodging tax, can only be utilized for projects which enhance tourism and draw tourists to the county.  The project was approved by county commissioners after it was recommended by the county’s lodging tax advisory committee earlier this year.  “River access and water activities are an important part of our recreation-based tourism economy as well as a significant contributor to our quality of life,” stated Commissioner Paul Jewell who is leading the planning effort.  “We can enhance both aspects for county residents and visitors alike by making investments in improved access.”
 
Committee work to formulate the plan is slated to begin immediately once the committee is formed.  The overall planning process is expected to take six to nine months.  Applications can be found on the county’s website at https://www.co.kittitas.wa.us/boc/boards/default.aspx and clicking on the word “application” in the second paragraph, or it can be picked up in person at the County Commissioners’ office in the County Courthouse at 205 W. 5th Avenue, Suite 108, in Ellensburg.  For assistance or to ask for further information, interested citizens can also call the Commissioner’s office at 509-962-7508.
 

Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at https://www.co.kittitas.wa.us

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Contact: Paul Jewell, Kittitas County Commissioner 509.962.7508