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Washington Tahuya Camping Opening Up

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We have been working on getting the camp grounds opened back up, see DNR news letter below.



December 18, 2011

State DNR to reopen two campgrounds in Tahuya State Forest on December 1

Discover Pass, grants help recover from 2009 closures

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that it will reopen two campgrounds in Tahuya State Forest —Camp Spilman and Kammenga—on December 1. Tahuya State Forest is located west of Belfair in Mason County.

The agency closed the two campgrounds in 2009 when budget cuts forced DNR to close or reduce services at nearly 40 trailheads, campgrounds, and other facilities across Washington.

DNR is able to reopen these campgrounds due to several factors, including receiving grant funding this year from the Nonhighway and Off-road Vehicle Activities (NOVA) program and also, in part, from revenue from sales of the Discover Pass. Funding will help pay for enforcement, maintenance, and additional staffing. DNR also gets help from the inmate crews at Mission Creek Corrections Center. The female crews help maintain facilities and trails, install small bridges, and pick up litter.

“Even though the Discover Pass is a new funding source, DNR is on a slow but steady trajectory to restore recreation access,” said Mark Mauren, Recreation Program Manager for DNR.

Other changes at Tahuya State Forest

On January 6, visitors will be able to camp at the Tahuya River Horse Camp on a first-come, first-served basis. DNR will no longer take reservations for this campground.

Kammenga and Camp Spilman campgrounds will be open seven days a week. The minimum stay limit is 10 nights in a 30-day period. These campgrounds are available only on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tahuya River Horse Camp will open for camping at noon each Friday through noon the following Monday. On the following holiday weekends, the horse camp will open at 9 a.m. the Wednesday prior to the holiday and close at noon the following Wednesday:

• Memorial Day weekend

• 4th of July

• Labor Day weekend

There will be occasional weekend campground closures for permitted events by recreation user groups. For more information about camping at Tahuya State Forest, including a description of the campsites, visit www.dnr.wa.gov/recreation and follow the link to DNR’s South Puget Sound Region.

Recreation on DNR-managed lands

DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, aquatic, agricultural, conservation and urban lands. Most recreation on these lands takes place in the 2.9 million acres of forests that DNR manages as state trust lands. By law, state trust lands are managed to produce income for schools, universities, prisons, state mental hospitals, community colleges, local services in many counties, and the state’s General Fund. State trust lands are also managed to provide fish and wildlife habitat and educational and recreational opportunities.

DNR-managed lands provide 1,100 miles of trails, 143 recreation sites, and a variety of landscapes throughout Washington State. Recreational opportunities include hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, motorized vehicle riding, mountain biking, and boating.

DNR’s main recreation focus is to provide trails, trailhead facilities, and a primitive camping experience in a natural setting.

Media Contact: Toni Droscher, Recreation Program Communications Manager, 360-902-1523, toni.droscher@dnr.wa.gov

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You would be correct Joe.

Also to clarify this means that the Horse Camp as of January 6th will no longer be on the reservation system, it will be 1st come 1st serve. We've talked about a sign up on South Spilman Road telling you when the Horse Camp is full, but a dependable way to do that and keep it accurate hasn't been worked out and may not be doable.

The discussions of making the Horse Camp available like this and staying this way were very dependent on motorized users respecting the campground by not making it a race track, riding thru all of the brush around the campground and staying out of the river. Hopefully it works.


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