Central Washington Campgrounds Proposed
Two new riverside recreation projects are proposed in Washington’s Kittitas County, one on the Columbia River and the other near the Yakima River northwest of Ellensburg, the Daily Record, Ellensburg, reported.
Proponents of the developments, one public and the other private, are seeking conditional-use permits from the county Community Development Services Department (CDS), according to permit applications in the CDS office.
Grant County Public Utility District proposes to construct the Rocky Canyon tent camping facility nearly two miles north of the Interstate 90 interchange in Vantage, east of Ellensburg. It is accessed from Recreation Drive along the Columbia River.
The PUD also has filed for a shoreline substantial development permit to allow work at the site building 10 tent campsites, associated parking, trails and other day-use facilities on a 5.6-acre site, according to permit applications.
Forest and range
The land is zoned forest and range. Recreation or campground facilities are a conditional use in this zone. Area citizens wanting to comment on the proposal must do so before 5 p.m. July 18 in writing, by email, letter or telephone to the county CDS office.
Grant County PUD said its review of the project indicates it will have no substantial adverse environmental impact.
The PUD operates several recreational access facilities along the Columbia River in connection with its federally approved operation of nearby Wanapum Dam, and also shares in administering recreational facilities on the river with Kittitas County government and the state parks and recreation department.
Yakima River site
Kris Carlson proposes a private campground at 3200 McManamy Road northwest of Ellensburg, according to the project application, to support fishing guide services and launching of guides’ drift boats into the Yakima River.
The project also plans to provide overnight boarding of horses for customers traveling with their horses.
The site is adjacent to State Route 10 and is close to U.S. Highway 97 and Interstate 90, the application said, “and would provide a service to travelers not offered in the valley.”
“This is something we did in Montana on our ranch and brings business to area restaurants and hotels,” the application said.
The site, also next to the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, is made up of two parcels of 20 acres and 36 acres. People have launched boats near the location since 2005 via a private access road.
The property owners said in their application that they have allowed the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office to launch its water rescue boats from the site, which also has been used by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Yakama Nation for boat launching for their respective fisheries programs.
The applicants said the fishing area, near the Cascade Irrigation District’s headgate and a KOA campground, provides 4 1/2 miles of prime, blue-ribbon fly fishing habitat.
Letters of support for the permit have been received by the CDS office from local fishing guide businesses, a local campground, the sheriff’s office and the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce.
An environmental assessment of the proposal will be issued later by CDS staff as well as a proposed date for a public hearing before the county land-use hearings examiner.