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Press ReleaseCommunity Development Services <br />FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE <br />County Seeks Volunteers For River Access Plan Development <br />Kittitas County, WA - 11/22/2017 - ELLENSBURG, Wash. – Kittitas County Commissioners are accepting <br />applications from residents interested in helping to develop a plan for improving access to the Yakima <br />River in Kittitas County. The county recently signed a contract with Beckwith Consulting to work directly <br />with a citizen advisory committee to create the plan. Beckwith Consulting previously assisted the county in <br />creating its Event Center Strategic Plan, Tourism Infrastructure Plan, and Parks, Recreation and Open Space <br />Plan. <br />The county is seeking to create a comprehensive strategy for improving access along the entire Yakima <br />River corridor.  This could include enhancements to existing river access sites as well as the creation of new <br />ones.  Volunteers are being sought from all areas of interest and types of user groups including fishermen, <br />boaters, floaters, wildlife habitat advocates, wildlife viewers and photographers, emergency responders, <br />private landowners along the river corridor, and local, state, federal and tribal governments. <br />The planning effort is being paid for with taxes collected by the county on paid overnight <br />accommodations like hotel/motel stays and camping fees.  These funds, known as lodging tax, can only be <br />utilized for projects which enhance tourism and draw tourists to the county.  The project was approved by <br />county commissioners after it was recommended by the county’s lodging tax advisory committee earlier <br />this year.  “River access and water activities are an important part of our recreation-based tourism <br />economy as well as a significant contributor to our quality of life,” stated Commissioner Paul Jewell who is <br />leading the planning effort.  “We can enhance both aspects for county residents and visitors alike by <br />making investments in improved access.” <br />Committee work to formulate the plan is slated to begin immediately once the committee is formed.  The <br />overall planning process is expected to take six to nine months.  Applications can be found on the county’s <br />website at and clicking on the word “application” in <br />the second paragraph, or it can be picked up in person at the County Commissioners’ office in the County <br />Courthouse at 205 W. 5th Avenue, Suite 108, in Ellensburg.  For assistance or to ask for further information, <br />interested citizens can also call the Commissioner’s office at 509-962-7508. <br />Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at <br />### <br />Page 1 of 2Kittitas County Press Releases <br />1/23/2018