Safety front and center at Palouse Falls after death

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PALOUSE FALLS, Wash. -After a 25-year-old Spokane man fell from a cliff at Palouse Falls State Park over the holiday weekend, some park goers are asking, "What's being done to keep visitors safe?"

Late in December 2015, park officials at Palouse Falls put up temporary fencing, blocking the popular but dangerous trails that people and animals often used. But by April of last year, by popular demand, the fences were gone. Visitors were complaining that the fences blocked access to too much of the park.

But the danger is ever-present, and first responders to these incidents want to make sure visitors are aware of it.

"I can't tell them they can't be here, it's a park. But these cliffs are dangerous and it's not the first time we've been out here," said Capt. Rick Rochleau with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.

With no fencing, the only protection between you and the edge of the cliff are some warning signs scattered around the park. But that doesn't deter curious visitors wanting to get a thrill, or that once in a lifetime photo.

First responders say the beauty of the park is what gets curious visitors into trouble at Palouse Falls.

"It's beautiful but it can be treacherous," said Rochleau.

Increased fencing or not, first responders on the scene Monday said park goers need to be more careful when using the park's various trails.

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