Petition for better access to upper Yakima River circulating onl - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Petition for better access to upper Yakima River circulating online

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Area of upper Yakima River near Thorp Area of upper Yakima River near Thorp

Kittitas County, WA - An online petition asking for better access to parts of the upper Yakima River has been circulating the internet for about two weeks now.  The petition is gaining supporters and is halfway to hitting reaching its total goal of signatures.  

Created by Steve Worley, a local commercial Fly Fisherman and owner of Worley-Bugger Fly Co., the petition aims to "improve both boat and foot access on the Upper Yakima River between Thorp and Ellensburg," according to the online post. 

"Its all around recreating, and there's a safety issue involved with it too, its about having boat launch accesses above and below a dam, so people can access the river and exit the river safely," said Worley.

Some comments from supporters on the online petition refer to more access as a necessity to help protect any damage to surrounding natural habitats, and note that better access will help increase local commerce and tourism.

"We'll work with anybody, if there's access off of our county roads, we'll what do we need to do to make that access safe and available, we'll do that any way we can," said Kittitas County Commissioner, Obie O'Brien.  

Some land that surrounds the river is either privately owned or state-owned, this is an issue that Kittitas County potentially faces with implementing more access routes. O'Brien tells NBC Right Now that this issue is one that can be resolved by working with the state, and recently the county has implemented a program for riverfront property owners to get rewards for allowing public access to the river from their property.

To visit the Kittitas County website for more information, click here.

To see the online petition, click here.