State Parks commission to affirm agreement with tribe on Nisqually State Park

The State Parks and Recreation Commission is expected to affirm a previous memorandum of understanding with the Nisqually Indian Tribe regarding Nisqually State Park.

For several years, the state and tribe have been working to develop an agreement to partner on the acquisition, development and management of the park land, which is west of Mount Rainier National Park at the confluence of the Nisqually and Mashel rivers

The master plan for the park includes trails, interpretive features and a visitor facility.

Signed in April 2014, the memorandum of understanding allows the tribe and state agency to work together on a park day-use facility and on habitat restoration and resource protection projects.

Development of the park has been slowed by the department’s tight budget in recent years. The master plan was adopted in 2010, but little has been done on construction of trails or facilities.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday at the DuPont Better Business Bureau, 1000 Station Drive, DuPont.

Short park closure

Westhaven State Park will be closed from Monday-April 17 while crews pave the gravel parking area. Vehicles and pedestrians will not be able to access the beach from the park.

The closure will significantly impact beach access and parking to the Westport Jetty and the beach directly south of the jetty, according to State Parks officials. This area is popular with surfers and with jetty fishermen this time of year.

As an alternative, visitors may park or drive on to the beach about 1 mile south at Westport Light State Park. Additional parking also is available at Half Moon Bay parking lot along Jetty Way Road near the Coast Guard tower.

The section of the Westport Light Trail that runs through Westhaven State Park will also be closed Monday-April 17. There are no detours around the park. The remainder of the trail remains open.

For more information about the temporary closure, contact park staff at 360-267-4301.

Old-time plowing bee

An old-fashioned horse-plowing match and demonstrations of turn-of-the-century farm equipment will take place this weekend at Olmstead Place State Park.

The second annual Plowing Bee will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and March 29. The park is midway between Ellensburg and Kittitas, just off Interstate 90.

The main event — the horse-plowing match — will feature draft horses such as Shires, Belgians, Clydesdales and Percherons. In addition, teamsters will show their horses and mules in traditional harness with horse-drawn farming equipment.

Some of the farm equipment will be pre-tractor antiques, while others will be modern examples of horse-powered farm equipment.

The plowing competitions take place in the morning and in the afternoon on both days. The Ellensburg Moose Lodge will be serving lunch of hamburger, potato salad and drink for about $6. Free wagon rides will also be available.