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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.

Confirmed Cases: 33509

Reported Deaths: 559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7274140
Marion477996
Washington461560
Umatilla300441
Clackamas246663
Malheur165030
Lane129317
Jackson11906
Deschutes87312
Yamhill77414
Jefferson5458
Polk53515
Linn53213
Morrow5136
Lincoln48113
Union4462
Benton3286
Wasco2964
Klamath2902
Hood River2520
Douglas2434
Clatsop2210
Josephine2042
Columbia1841
Coos1600
Baker982
Crook631
Tillamook530
Lake340
Wallowa331
Curry320
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 819115

Reported Deaths: 15885
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2702996576
Riverside594051226
San Bernardino55203955
Orange537511268
San Diego47180783
Kern32073369
Fresno28621390
Sacramento22590416
Alameda21383412
Santa Clara21379322
San Joaquin20411456
Contra Costa16793207
Stanislaus16512362
Tulare16204263
Ventura12875150
Imperial11908320
San Francisco11275104
Monterey1005073
San Mateo9990150
Santa Barbara9164113
Merced8961143
Kings768180
Sonoma7578122
Marin6734119
Solano644571
Madera458368
San Luis Obispo361231
Placer360448
Butte284844
Yolo282855
Santa Cruz239410
Napa172713
Sutter172011
San Benito135211
Yuba11728
El Dorado11514
Mendocino95418
Shasta94320
Lassen7410
Glenn5963
Tehama5855
Lake56611
Nevada5417
Colusa5356
Humboldt5128
Calaveras32214
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1660
Del Norte1441
Mariposa762
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
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