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Senate passes Palouse Falls designation

OLYMPIA — A plan to name Palouse Falls the official state waterfall passed the Senate and was sent to Gov. Jay Inslee this afternoon.

On a 46-3 vote, a plan devised by students at Washtucna Elementary School cleared its last legislative hurdle and seems likely to become law.

The falls is one of the nation's tallest, and the park around it is one of the few state parks that operates in the black, Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said. Nearby Lyons Ferry State Park, among those close because of budget constraints, will be one of the first to reopen and a hiking trail will link the two parks, he said.

"Let's show the kids in the Palouse area the process does work if it's a good idea," Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, said.

Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, said he grew up near the falls and has many fond memories of it. Next year he said he might introduce a bill to rename the state Flaming Geyser State Park for Roach.

House passes Palouse Falls bill

Washtucna elementary students pitched Palouse Falls at House committee hearing last month.

OLYMPIA — Palouse Falls would become the official state waterfall under a bill receiving unanimous approval in the House today.

The proposal originated with students at Washtucna Elementary School as a way to call attention to the falls, which is a remnant of prehistoric floods that washed across Eastern Washington.

Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, the bill's sponsor, said, the falls draw so many visitors that the state park that surrounds it is one of the few that actually operates in the black.

Washington might be the only state to have an official state waterfall. HB 2119 was sent to the Senate for consideration.

Palouse Falls pitched for state recognition

Washtucna Elementary students ask House Government Operations Committee to name a state waterfall.

OLYMPIAWashington has a state bird, a state flower, a state tree, a state fossil and state song, and a host of other official state items.

Why not a state waterfall?

That’s what students from Washtucna Elementary School are wondering. They would like the Legislature to designate Palouse Falls, which is tucked away in an arid and remote part of Eastern Washington, to help out the underappreciated natural wonder practically in their backyard. . .

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