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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Lawmakers call for delay in state park ranger layoffs

STATE  PARKS -- Concerned about the massive layoff of park rangers, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers has asked the state Parks and Recreation Commission to delay sending out notices until after the Legislature meets in January, according to a report by the Wenatchee World.

The Dec. 14 letter raises the issue of public safety in the event nearly half of the 189 full-time permanent park rangers were laid off or given the option of seasonal employment.

Park rangers are fully commissioned law-enforcement officers and respond to incidents in state parks, along with their many other duties.

But state parks officials said any delays would cost the cash-strapped agency $750,000 a month -- money they say the agency doesn't have.

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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