Groups open accessible fishing pier on Banks Lake

Staff reportMay 4, 2014 

A rule change proposed by the National Park Service would define a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities.

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

A new ADA-accessible fishing pier has opened at Steamboat Rock State Park on Banks Lake near Electric City.

A dedication ceremony April 28 celebrated the completion of the 12-year project of the Rotary Club of Grand Coulee Dam. The club worked with State Parks and other organizations.

The new pier provides fishing access to people with disabilities. It is the first such accessible pier in North-central Washington, according to groups involved in the project.

The Rotary Club set its sights on the project in 2000, establishing a location for the pier and working with State Parks to meet permit and construction requirements to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The $60,000 project received grant support from Rotary District 5060, the Columbia Basin Foundation of Ephrata, the Grand Coulee Lions Club, the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation and individual donations. The community also raised money through Rotary Club spaghetti feeds. In addition, donated time and materials worth $13,000 helped build the concrete base-anchor for the pier.

CAMP HOSTS SOUGHT

Volunteers have the chance to live the summer in the North Cascades, while interacting with campers and visitors to North Cascades National Park and Ross Lake National Recreation Area. Campgrounds hosts are needed at Colonial Creek Campground on Diablo Lake.

Hosts will need to commit to 32 hours weekly to cover peak hours from 8 a.m.-noon and 3-7 p.m. four days each week. Hosts will be provided free utilities and hook-up for their recreational vehicle.

There may also be an opportunity to work at Newhalem Campground as well.

Main duties will include greeting visitors, providing campground and area information, and registering campers. Participants will work with park rangers and maintenance staff.

No Wi-Fi or cellphone signals are available at the site, although there is cell service in Newhalem and Marblemount.

For more information and to apply, call Cindy Bjorklund at 360-854-7303 or visit volunteer.gov and click on the link to Washington state.

NPS SERVICE ANIMAL RULES

The National Park Service seeks public comment on a proposed changes to rules governing service animals in national parks.

Last amended in 1983, the federal statutes governing accessibility for persons with disabilities, as well as the use of service animals, have changed significantly.

The proposed rule would define a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities. The work or tasks a service animal is trained to perform must be directly related to the person’s disability, said a Park Service news release. Other species of animals would not be considered service animals, but park superintendents would have the authority to allow the use of miniature horses by individuals with disabilities when appropriate, depending on the type, size and weight of the horse.

The proposed rule would differentiate service animals from pets, domestic animals, feral animals, livestock and pack animals, and would describe the circumstances under which service animals would be allowed in a park area.

Comments on the proposed rule, 36 Code of Federal Regulations 2.15, will be accepted through June 17. Comments can be made through the federal rulemaking portal at regulations.gov.

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