SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has decided to increase fees for campers who don't live in the state of Oregon "to encourage local recreation and provide funding," the agency said.
The change affects new campsite reservations and first-served camping beginning on Monday, August 10. The change does not apply to existing reservations or people currently camping in a state park.
The increase adds up to 30 percent to the nightly cost to camp for non-residents. Including lodging taxes, the average cost for a full-service RV site is currently $33 per night. With the new fees for non-residents, that cost would increase to an average of $42. The average tent rate will rise from $19 to $23 for non-residents.
“We love serving all people, no matter where they live,” said Lisa Sumption, director for OPRD. “Even so, this temporary change is needed to remind people to stay as close to home as possible while enjoying the outdoors, and to provide much-needed support for the Oregon state park system, which faces a projected $22 million shortfall between now and June 2021.”
The surcharge is set to remain in effect for the rest of 2020. A decision about rates for 2021 is expected to be made this autumn.
OPRD projects that the fees could raise up to $500,000 through the end of the year to help hire staff, pay for cleaning supplies, and fund other park operations, "in addition to encouraging recreation close to home."