More than a decade after state government walked away from the park it had operated for many years at Lyons Ferry, Sen. Mark Schoesler has secured $600,000 in the state’s new capital budget that will ultimately put the park back on the state-run list.
“This will be the first state park to open – or reopen, in this case – on the east side of our state in recent memory,” said Schoesler, R-Ritzville, whose 9th Legislative District includes the portion of Franklin County where the park is located along U.S. Highway 12. “It’s very fitting that the work to bring Lyons Ferry back as a state park is beginning in the centennial year of our state-parks system.”
The Snake River is either inside or alongside the 9th District all the way from where it enters Washington at Clarkston to where it meets U.S. Highway 12 next to its confluence with the Columbia. The Lyons Ferry park, which covers more than a thousand acres, features more than 52,000 feet of shoreline along the Snake, making it popular with water-skiers and boaters as well as campers.
Schoesler said the state’s investment will pay to get the park up to state standards so the facility can reopen under Washington State Parks management. When that will happen isn’t set; for now Schoesler is just glad to have landed the funding.
“I remember all too well the dark day more than 10 years ago when our state parks department walked away from all of the Snake River parks it had been operating on land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Schoesler. “For me, seeing Lyons Ferry reopen as a state park is personal. For the families and travelers who will enjoy this park once again in the not-too-distant future, this is great news.”
The capital budget for 2013-15, approved by lawmakers Saturday, was signed by the governor today.