Come Celebrate Public Lands Day this Weekend

This Saturday, Sept. 30, is National Public Lands Day. Public lands belong to all of us, and in celebration of that fact, federal public lands are fee-free on Saturday. Washington State Parks are also free for day use on Saturday. 

Phil Rigdon, of the Yakama Nation, stands near the Yakima River where huge strides have been made to ensure trout and salmon can migrate freely up the river. Phoyo © Steven Gnam

We want to make sure our public lands are there for future generations to enjoy, and that special places like Washington’s Cascade Mountain forests will be protected. This is important not only because landscapes like these offer tremendous recreational opportunities for Washingtonians and visitors, but also because healthy forests support essential fish and wildlife habitat and protect the water supply farmers living downstream need to irrigate their fields. 

Learn more about public lands and LWCF

Join the celebration of our public lands at Red’s Fly Shop on Saturday.  The free event begins at 10 a.m. More information can be found on Red’s event page

Visit the LWCF Coalition to learn more about this program to keep public lands public. 

If the Yakima Canyon holds a special place in your heart, join the Washington Association of Land Trusts (WALT) and others to participate in a Public Lands Day event on Saturday at Red’s Fly Shop, located on the Yakima River south of Ellensburg.  The event celebrates the 640 million acres of public land we all share and offers seminars on fishing and hunting opportunities on public lands. If you’re not a hunter or angler, but you live with one, there’s also a cooking class!

Fishing guide Shannon Carroll flyfishing at dawn for steelhead on the Hoh River in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington (near Forks). Photo by Bridget Besaw.

The event at Red’s is an opportunity to learn more about the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which has supported public land for more than 50 years. The LWCF uses no taxpayer money and has been used to protect and enhance public access to Mount Rainier National Park, Riverside State Park in Spokane, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Yakima River Canyon — to name just a few of the more than 600 projects in our state alone. It also protects working forests and farmland across Washington. 

Cyndal Leaumont studies a bird guide as she overlooks the White Bluffs area of the Hanford Reach National Monument. Photo by Joel Rogers.

Unfortunately, LWCF is at risk of losing funding as Congress debates federal budgets for the next year. We are paying close attention to the budget discussions in Congress, and we invite you to contact your members of Congress to show your support for this program. Reach out to your representatives by clicking the link below.