OPRD approves fee increases for state parks

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is requesting public comment on three proposed amendments to the Oregon Administrative Rules that govern state parks, as directed by legislation passed during the 2021 session. The deadline for comments is 5 p.m. Nov. 10.

One change prohibits individuals convicted of a bias crime on public property or state waterways from entering state park property for up to five years, as per Senate Bill 289. The proposed amendment establishes a process for issuing exclusion notices.

The second change implements Senate Bill 794, which increases fees for RV campsites by 25% for out-of-state residents. Under the current system, out-of-state campers just pay the RV site rate. Oregon residents with RVs pay both the RV site rate plus an RV license plate fee, some of which goes to state park operations.

Additional revenue from this surcharge will go to pay for day-to-day operations and repairs to state parks. With a system nearly 100 years old, those costs go up every year.

The third amendment under consideration adds a requirement that the Governor, as per HB2171, appoint members of the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Council. The council will advise the Office of Outdoor Recreation on outdoor policy and priorities.

Comments may be submitted via:

• Public Hearing: A virtual public meeting set for 6 pm. Oct. 27. Registration is required at oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/Pages/PRP-rulemaking.aspx.

• Online: oregon.gov/OPRD/PRP/Pages/PRP-rulemaking.aspx

• Mail: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, attn.: Katie Gauthier, 725 Summer St NE, Suite C, Salem OR 97301

• Email: OPRD.publiccomment@oregon.gov

After reviewing public comments, agency staff will present final amended rules for consideration by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission at its November 2021 business meeting.

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