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Nisqually Tribe, State Partnering on Development of Nisqually State Park

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Nisqually Indian Tribe are working together on future development of Nisqually State Park

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Nisqually Indian Tribe are working together on future development of Nisqually State Park in Olympia, Washington.

The 1,300-acre park lies at the confluence of the Nisqually River, Mashel River and Ohop Creek. The park includes a diverse landscape of steep-sided forest valleys, high ridges and reforested plateaus in the Mount Rainier foothills.

A partnership of the state and Nisqually Tribe was envisioned as part of the park’s Master Plan. The plan and park name were adopted by the state Parks and Recreation Commission in 2010. Property at Nisqually was acquired between 1991 and 2013, with funding from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, or WWRP. First-phase development plans, funded by a WWRP grant, call for a trailhead facility that will include a parking lot and restroom. The new trailhead is expected to be open to the public by July 2015.

The agency and tribe will soon address how the partners will work together to expand, develop and manage the park.

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State Parks Director Don Hoch called the partnership “a natural… We look forward to the tribe sharing the story of this culturally significant area, and we know that this will benefit the public in connecting people to their state’s heritage.”

Nisqually Chairwoman Cynthia Iyall said her government’s involvement in the park’s development and management is important, because it is ancestral homeland, includes the birthplace of Chief Leschi, and is critical habitat for salmon recovery. “We’re so proud to be a part of protecting and restoring this landscape for future generations to enjoy as a refuge and place of healing.”

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