Reclamation Delays Opening Camping Area Due to Sequestration

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Stephanie Utter, (509) 754-0214

For Release: March 28, 2013

EPHRATA, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation will delay opening Scooteney Park for overnight use due to sequestration that impacts hiring employees to maintain the facilities for public health and safety, but the day-use area will remain open.

Scooteney Recreation Area near Connell, Wash., will be closed to camping until further notice. Due to a federal hiring freeze, Reclamation is unable to employ the personnel needed to maintain the park and ensure public safety.

"Our first priority is public safety and without the ability to hire key personnel to maintain the park, we have no choice but to delay opening the park to overnight use until further notice," Ephrata Field Office Manager Stephanie Utter said.

Scooteney Park averages about 45,000 visitors a year with nearly 6,000 utilizing the campground. Many visitors travel from larger surrounding cities such as Seattle, Spokane, and Tri-Cities. The park sits on about 1,200 acres that offers 36 campsites and day-use facilities.

The nearest alternative camping location is Potholes State Park located approximately 35 miles to the northwest of Scooteney Park.

For more information, contact Reclamation's Ephrata Field Office at (509) 754-0200. A pre-recorded message offering information about the delayed opening for overnight camping at Scooteney Park can be heard at (509) 234-0527.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.