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Last updated 12/30/2020 at 10:43am

Steptoe Butte improvements coming in early 2021

OAKESDALE — Steptoe Butte State Park will close for 12-16 weeks later this winter for improvements.

Washington State Parks officials said the entire park will be closed beginning in February or March to allow for major road and parking improvements.

The start date and completion depend on the weather, officials said.

State updating mining rules

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking comment on its proposed rules for mineral prospecting that may affect fish.

Proposed rules include updating definitions related to mining, requiring proof of compliance with the federal Clean Water Act and requiring a state hydraulic project approval for dredging or siphoning operations.

Comment by Jan. 30 by emailing

There will be a public hearing on the new rules Jan. 29.

Fees waived to enter state parks in January

OLYMPIA — Residents and visitors will be able to visit state parks for free twice in January.

Fee-free days are scheduled for Jan. 1 and Jan. 18, state Parks and Recreation Commission officials said.

Because of the coronavirus scare, rangers will not provided guided hikes.

On fee-free days, park-goers do not have to have a Discover pass.

— The Gazette


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