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OLYMPIA — The state Department of Natural Resources will close all DNR-managed lands to the public on Thursday, according to a news release from the DNR.

The closure will last through at least April 8.

DNR lands in Kittitas County include 29 Pines Campground in the Teanaway.

This step is a continuation of the agency’s efforts to protect people by stemming the spread of the coronavirus. On Monday, the agency, along with the State Department of Parks and Recreation and State Department of Fish and Wildlife, closed all campgrounds across the state through April 30.

“This was not an easy decision. We treasure our forests and trails and beaches as places of rejuvenation and refuge from the chaos of daily life. But, I cannot ignore the unfortunate reality of what we saw this weekend: crowded trails, people shoulder to shoulder, and large gatherings,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “This behavior undercuts the sacrifices that Washingtonians of all means and ability are making in order to adhere to social distancing. And it undercuts the heroic efforts of our doctors, nurses, and first responders who risk their lives each day responding to this unrelenting epidemic.

“This behavior also makes clear that, while we have taken drastic measures, we have not done enough when it comes to closing areas where large crowds gather and communicating the importance of staying at home and avoiding physical contact with others.

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