PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. - Enemy forces never got the chance to attack the artillery batteries at Warden State Park in Port Townsend, but it is now under assault on three fronts. Budget cuts, erosion and vandalism are taking a toll on the famous fort overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Employees and volunteers on Wednesday were installing a new fence on bluff near one of the old batteries. The trouble started when winter storms ate away at the bluff, undercut it and left a portion of park jutting out over the cliff supported by only a thin layer of soil and sod.
“Someone walks over to the edge to get a better view of the Sound here, thinking they were on some solid ground, and they might only be on a couple inches of soil and they could have gone a hundred feet down and lost their lives,” said Brian Hageman, Fort Worden Area Park Manager.
To make matters even worse, someone apparently took temporary protective barriers workers placed on the bluff and threw them off the cliff.
Hageman said he had to pull his staff off of other jobs for an emergency fence building project to create a permanent barrier between the public and the plunge.
Earlier this year a dog fell over and had to be rescued. Last year a woman who went over trying to rescue her dog had to be rescued.