Local citizens can help shape the future of Clatsop County's park system. A special task force that's updating the county's parks master plan is looking for members.

"This is an important process that will set the direction of the county's recreational needs and goals for the next decade," said Carolyn Eady, a member of the Clatsop County Recreational Lands Planning Advisory Committee, which is appointing the task force.

People with a personal interest in local park and recreation opportunities, such as those with young children or children active in sports, disabled individuals and senior citizens, are invited to apply to join the task force. Application forms are available from the County Administrator's Office by calling 325-1000 or on line at (www.co.clatsop.or.us) Applications must be completed and submitted by Nov. 30 for consideration.

Other members of the task force include business, civic, educational and recreation leaders.

Clatsop County operates 10 public parks totaling 562 acres and two public boat ramps providing access to the Columbia River. The parks range from passive-use mature forests to fishing access with limited facilities to more developed parks with restrooms and ADA compatible facilities.

The existing master plan, adopted in 1992, is 13 years out of date. The task force will work with a consultant to map out the goals and activities for the county's recreational lands for the next 10 years. The county is applying for a planning grant from the Oregon Department of Recreation and Parks to help pay for the process.

The task force will generally meet for two hours a month, on the last Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. There could be occasional additional work sessions or on-site visits. The panel will disband upon completion of the master plan, anticipated to be a yearlong process.

The public will be invited to participate throughout the planning process. The task force will also present its draft at a public meeting before submitting it to the full Recreational Lands Planning Advisory for consideration and to the Board of Commissioners for adoption.

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