Oregon announces 'limited camping' will resume at state parks June 9

State officials said that some camping at many state park campgrounds will open up on June 9.

Posted: May 21, 2020 11:03 AM
Updated: May 21, 2020 11:13 AM

SALEM, Ore. — Officials at the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department say that camping will reopen at state parks beginning on June 9, though many of the details are still being worked out.

State park campgrounds closed statewide on March 23 as part of the state's response to COVID-19. Parks reopened for day use earlier this month, but camping has had to wait on additional planning.

Despite the announcement, a statement from Parks said that the list of campgrounds that will reopen is still being finalized — set to be published on the state Parks website by the end of May.

"Not all parks and all services will be available," the agency said. "Most of the campgrounds opening accept reservations, but some first-come, first-served state park campgrounds may open as staff and funding are available."

The campgrounds that do open up will honor any existing tent and RV reservations beginning on June 9, and will start accepting new reservations between one day and two weeks in advance instead of the normal nine months. Reservations can be made through Reserve America.

RV and tent campers without reservations will be welcome at open campgrounds as space and staffing permit.

"Two main forces determine when a state park campground can open. Some communities, such as the north coast, are not yet ready for overnight visitors from outside their area," officials said.

However, the biggest factor is one of funding, according to the Parks agency.

"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," officials said. "The revenue needed to operate state parks has fallen drastically since March, meaning one of the most popular state park systems in the country is being operated by about half the usual staff."

Without a steady stream of funding, state parks are staffed with only a skeleton crew, and the agency says that it has "limited means" to hire more. As a result, there are few staff members to help visitors or maintain trash pickup, landscaping, and cleaning services.

"Interpretive activities and ranger programs will be few and far between, if at all," the agency said. "Restrooms are expected to be available at each open park, but some shower facilities may be closed. Service, and whether a park is open or not, is subject to change depending on health conditions around the park, available staff, protective equipment, and cleaning supplies."

Visitors can help state parks stay open with the following steps:

  • 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 our Prepare + Care Welcome video.

“Oregon needs what its parks can provide,” says Lisa Sumption, OPRD Director. “This is less service than Oregonians are used to, and we’re doing our best to stretch the budget, but it will take continued cooperation and support from visitors to make this work.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 362561

Reported Deaths: 4334
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah56445713
Washington39207326
Marion37314457
Clackamas30208312
Lane28166308
Jackson23297314
Deschutes20819125
Umatilla14616151
Linn13198132
Douglas12294251
Josephine9476198
Yamhill8868114
Klamath8194122
Polk750281
Malheur570079
Benton562431
Coos512396
Columbia388944
Jefferson382456
Lincoln325540
Union322950
Crook298146
Wasco293341
Clatsop245528
Baker205229
Tillamook198333
Hood River196637
Morrow187123
Curry182925
Harney114927
Grant100813
Lake96112
Wallowa69512
Gilliam1624
Sherman1603
Wheeler1081
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 4854041

Reported Deaths: 71417
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148510526549
Riverside3716705041
San Diego3678574183
San Bernardino3586775720
Orange3251235578
Sacramento1596362313
Kern1472941652
Fresno1463182094
Santa Clara1455431897
Alameda1206921415
San Joaquin1027761721
Ventura1010381167
Contra Costa1000181008
Stanislaus862991335
Tulare80375978
San Francisco54440649
San Mateo54168623
Monterey50911586
Solano46063341
Santa Barbara45223523
Merced42422581
Sonoma40997404
Placer39435429
Imperial36071766
Kings32938325
San Luis Obispo29973333
Madera23955285
Shasta23924352
Butte23818273
Santa Cruz21034221
Yolo20397248
Marin17706244
El Dorado17207149
Sutter13937175
Napa12898100
Yuba1011582
Tehama9534110
Humboldt9269109
Nevada916790
Mendocino766787
Lassen758747
San Benito744972
Tuolumne691790
Lake6631105
Amador547364
Siskiyou451246
Glenn438433
Calaveras391481
Del Norte358742
Colusa307618
Inyo214241
Mono16723
Plumas16607
Mariposa133916
Trinity88011
Modoc6895
Sierra1880
Unassigned1460
Alpine1050
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