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Inslee Directs Some State Outdoor Recreation Areas To Reopen


Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced today [Monday] that some of the state’s recreation areas will reopen, beginning May 5.

"The restrictions being lifted today include day use of our state parks, day use of our state lands that are managed by the Department of Natural Resources and day use of state fish and wildlife areas. This includes fishing, hunting and the ability to play golf, as well," Inslee said.

There are still restrictions. For example, Inslee is limiting golf to twosomes in non-family groups and up to foursomes for families whose members live together.

He says his directive is driven by a variety of metrics, including trends that show hospital admissions are decreasing.

“I do think it’s important to say this: this is not a return to normal today. The virus is too rampant to allow that. This is only the beginning of a phase of relaxing our outdoor recreation," he said.

This is the second loosening of restrictions announced recently by Inslee. The other allows a resumption of ongoing construction projects where it can be done with proper physical distancing.

State Parks Director Don Hoch says his agency should know by the end of the week which parks will be open by next week. He says overnight camping will still not be allowed.

Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz says Department of Natural Resources campgrounds will also remain closed. She says her agency has been working with federal land management agencies to coordinate openings, which may indicate some federal forest lands will be reopened soon.