SALEM, OR (KPTV) - Limited camping at some state park campgrounds in Oregon will begin on June 9.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department closed camping statewide on March 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to state park officials, the list of campgrounds that will be open June 9 to limited camping is still being finalized. The list will be available on oregonstateparks.org by the end of May.
Most of the campgrounds that will open accept reservation, but some first-come, first-serve state park campgrounds may open as staff and funding are available, officials said.
Campgrounds that do open will honor existing tent and RV reservations starting June 9. Officials said new reservations will be accepted from one day to two weeks in advance, instead of the usual nine months in advance.
Officials said two main forces determine when a state park campground can open.
The first is that some communities, such as the north coast, are not yet ready to welcome overnight visitors from outside their area.
The second - and more widespread factor - is funding.
Officials said the Oregon State Park system is not funded by taxes, but by revenue from park visitors, a small share of the Oregon Lottery, and a portion of state recreational vehicle registrations.
According to officials, the revenue needed to operate state parks has fallen drastically since March, meaning the state park system is being operated by about half the usual staff.
That means there will be fewer staff available at campgrounds to help visitors with common issues like noise and pets. Trash, landscaping and cleaning services will all be reduced. Officials said restrooms are expected to be available at each reopened park, but some shower facilities may be closed.
Officials said visitors can do the following to help state parks stay open:
- Choose a park as close to home as possible. Don’t travel if you’re sick.
- Visit with members of your household.
- Bring everything you need with you: trash bags, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, food, water. Pack out everything you bring in.
- Be gentle with the trails, restrooms, showers, benches, and picnic tables.
- Take it easy on yourself by enjoying low-key, familiar activities.
- Be a good neighbor. Keep your pets on a leash, your site clean, and respect quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. every day.
- Keep at least six feet away from people from outside your household, and wear a face covering when you can’t. Avoid crowds even if you have a face covering.
- Cover coughs, and wash your hands regularly.
- Watch the OPRD Prepare + Care Welcome video at https://youtu.be/IN7qsM08l9k.
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