The Pasco Free State (PFS) is a small nation on the Columbia River in what was formerly the State of Washington in the United States of America. It is a survivor community run by a council of the greater Tri-Cities area. The PFC comprises the cities of Pasco, Kennewick and Richland, and recently has taken control over the Yakima Valley, Walla Walla area and has an outpost as far west as Ellensburg.
The area that would become the PFS Tri-Cities was once a metropolitan area in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Washington, consisting of Benton and Franklin counties. The three neighboring cities that gave the area its name were: Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland. The cities are located at the confluence of the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia rivers in the semi-arid region of Southeastern Washington. A fourth neighboring city, West Richland, is generally included as part of the Tri-City area and region.
Pasco and the rest of the Tri-City area was spared a direct hit on Doomsday but like the rest of the United States suffered greatly in it's aftermath. Near by Seattle was hit by several nuclear weapons and soon refugees were pouring into Eastern Washington. The area came under the control of Spokane shortly after the state government pulled back to concentrate on the Olympia region. Following that nation's war with Utah, Spokane as a state ceased to exist, being first occupied by Utah and then later joining the state of Lincoln, and then the new United States. Utah remained to maintain order until local militias could be established to keep the area secure. Shortly thereafter Pasco, Kennewick and Richland formed a new nation called the Pasco Free State (the "Free" symbolizing their independence from Spokane). Pasco has maintained close ties with Utah ever since.
The PFC has invested considerable effort into uniting large swaths of Eastern Washington under its banner, in an effort to form a bulwark against the influence of elements of the Spokane leadership who escaped Desertan forces in the war. They control territory as far west as Cle Elum in the Cascade Mountains, as far north as Wenatchee, and south to Pendleton, OR. They also have a major military base set up at the former Central Washington University campus in Ellensburg. The Columbia Plateau Highway Corps is a sort of half-legitimate vigilante force that patrols I-90 and I-82, with their headquarters set up in Yakima. The PFC Air Force operates out of airfields in Richland, Yakima and Wenatchee, always watching for leftovers from the Spokane militias, though none have been spotted in a very long time.
On May 25, 2010 Pasco voters gathered to decide the fate of their country. In a referendum, Pasco citizens had to decide between three options: 1) join the Provisional United States as a state, 2) join the North American Union as a full member or 3) keep the status quo and remain fully independent. A majority of voters approved Option 2 and the Pasco Free State officially made a request to join the NAU, which was accepted. Supporters of Option 1, however, continue to believe that their goals have not been preempted by the results of the referendum and still feel unity with the formerly-provisional United States is still a viable option.
Pasco is served by the Pasco School District, Columbia Basin College and Washington State University Tri-Cities.
Pasco High School is the older of the city's two public high schools. The city's second high school—Chiawana High School—opened in August, 2009. The Pasco Bulldog school colors are purple and white; the Chiawana Riverhawk school colors are navy blue and silver.
Privately, Pasco and the greater Tri-Cities area is served by Tri-Cities Prep, a Catholic high school off of Road 100, and St. Patrick's grade school next door to the campus of Pasco High School.
With a rapidly growing campus, Columbia Basin College is the largest public two-year community college in Southeastern Washington with a student body of nearly 7,000 students. The college was founded in 1955 and serves students from the entire Tri-Cities region.
There are three middle schools in Pasco, serving students ranging from grade six to eight. The easternmost school is Ellen Ochoa Middle School, the westernmost is John McLoughlin Middle School and the Isaac Stevens Middle School is in the middle.
The Pasco's economy has historically been based on farming and the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. From Pasco's incorporation in 1891 on, the Tri-Cities have had a large degree of farming thanks to the excellent soil. Irrigation is made easy by the three nearby rivers. Wheat is the most commonly grown product; however, large amounts of apples, corn, and grapes are also grown, along with potatoes and other products including asparagus. Cherries are also grown in the region.
In recent years Pasco has began to produce wine, however it has yet to prove itself as a viable industry.
- Kadlec Regional Medical Center (Richland)
- Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital|Lourdes Medical Center (Downtown Pasco, Richland, West Pasco)
- Kennewick General Hospital (Downtown Kennewick and West Kennewick)
The Mid-Columbia Library System is based in the Tri-Cities and operates several public libraries in the Tri-Cities, including Pasco and Kennewick. The Richland library is not part of the Library System, but is a public library.
- Kennewick Mid-Columbia Library
- Richland Public Library
- Pasco Mid-Columbia Library
- Consolidated Information Center (North Richland)
- Downtown Kennwick Mid-Columbia Library
- Columbia Basin College Library (Pasco)
- Columbia Basin Regional Medical Library (Richland)
- Benton-Franklin County Law Library (Pasco)
- Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco.
- Richland Airport in Richland.
- Vista Field in Kennewick.
Interstates and major highways
- Interstate 82 runs along the southern edge of Kennewick.
- Interstate 182 follows the Yakima River through Richland, crosses the Columbia River on the Interstate 182 Bridge, and continues through Pasco to its terminus with Route 395.
- US 395 runs north through Kennewick, crosses the Columbia River on the Blue Bridge and continues through Pasco and then north to Interstate 90 in Ritzville, Washington.
- SR 397 runs from Finley, Washington| up to Pasco, crossing the Columbia River through the Cable Bridge
- US 12 is cosigned with Interstate 182 through the Tri-Cities and continues past Route 395 across the Snake River towards Burbank, Walla Walla, and Lewiston, Idaho.
- SR 240 runs through Kennewick and Richland, around the Hanford Nuclear Reservation then north to Interstate 90 at Vantage. It has a major junction with SR 24, which leads west to Yakima, Washington.
Ben Franklin Transit provides public bus service throughout the Tri-Cities.
- Benton County P.U.D.
- Franklin County P.U.D.
- City of Richland
- City of Pasco
- City of Kennewick
- City of West Richland
- Cascade Natural Gas
- Waste Management
The Columbia River provides much of the Pasco's recreational opportunities as do the Snake and Yakima rivers. All three cities offer a number of free boat launch sites, and the size of the river itself creates ample space for fishing, surface water sports, and sailing. Wineries, golf, and area parks also provide much recreation for the Pasco area.
Kennewick's Columbia Park, Kennewick is the largest park in the Pasco area. It borders several miles of the Columbia River and is run by the Kennewick Parks and Recreation Department. Within the park, there is a popular golf course, duck and fishing ponds, and a playground known as the Playground of Dreams.
The Cable Bridge, also known as the Ed Hendler Memorial Bridge (named after a former mayor of Pasco) is one of the most identifiable landmarks in Eastern Washington. It spans the Columbia River connecting East Kennewick and East Pasco. It is unofficially the most photographed landmark in the area.
B-Reactor is the world's first industrial-scale nuclear reactor. It is located on the Hanford Site, a former nuclear production complex northwest of Richland.
The Blue Bridge is less than a mile upstream from the Cable Bridge and is the second most notable bridge in the area. It is one of two bridges that connect Kennewick to Pasco, the other being the aforementioned Cable Bridge.
Built in Pasco along the Columbia River in 1908, the mansion was abandoned after the suicide of one of the owner's children in an upper room of the house. The mansion was later converted into an extremely upscale restaurant. It was eventually burned down by its owners in attempted insurance fraud. However, the mansion has since been reconstructed.
West of the Tri-Cities, Rattlesnake Mountain is the tallest peak in the area at 3527 ft (1060 m), and the highest "treeless" mountain in the United States.
A soundstage in Richland's Howard Amon Park, its shape resembles a fingernail. It hosts many concerts throughout the spring and summer. It was salvaged from a rock quarry in the 1970s during the construction of the Interstate 182 interchange and relocated in the park
A historic grain elevator remains on Clearwater Avenue in Kennewick. It has not been in use for several years and development has proceeded around it.
Although in a blue state, the Tri-Cities (and most of Eastern Washington) before Doomsday tended to be politically conservative and regularly voted Republican in national elections; locally the Republicans remain to this day dominant. Most areas in the Tri-Cities are right of center, with the exception of North Richland and Downtown Pasco which tend to be more liberal.
Utah continues to send aide to the state in hopes that it acts as a convenient buffer against any remnant Spokane forces remaining hidden in the mountains, and the PFS is considered the primary reason that they have remained as such. The PFS has also been courted by the North American Union about joining the multi-national union. As part of the negotiations for the MSP-NAU rail line, PFS is the favored transit line, which would increase its prominence and importance in the area, leading to further support from the MSP and NAU. Utah, and especially Vice-Governor Evans of Northern Deseret has voiced strong support for the Pasco Alignment.