Wallowa Lake State Park

Boaters enjoyed the blue waters of Wallowa Lake in July.

SALEM — Making a reservation to stay at an Oregon state park could soon change, and the public has an opportunity to have a say in how.

The advent of COVID-19 meant shutting down all state parks last March, to eventually be reopened in phases in early summer, officials said in a news release.

That move exposed a need for more flexibility in reservation rules to allow the parks department to better respond to changing conditions.

In Northeast Oregon, state parks include Wallowa Lake, Emigrant Springs, Farewell Bend, Clyde Holliday and Unity Lake.

The proposed change to Oregon law includes implementing a flexible range of zero to up to $15 for transaction fees that allow a camper to make, change or cancel a reservation.

Right now that cost is set at $8 for each reservation.

The proposal would also add flexibility to the reservation window, allowing the agency to vary the window from same-day reservations up to 18 months in advance for specific camping sites.

That window is currently set from one day to nine months in advance, across the system.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is accepting public comments on the proposed changes through Jan. 15, 2021, by 5 p.m. A virtual public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m., Jan. 7, 2021.

For more information, or to submit a comment, go to ubne.ws/3mLBAcZ.

Parks officials expect to present a final rule recommendation to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission in February 2021.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been changed to reflect a correction. The original version incorrectly identified state parks affected by the reservation rules.] 

 

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