The fee will be effective at least through 2020

Itemizer-Observer staff report

SALEM — To encourage local recreation and provide funding to operate the Oregon State Park system, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will add a nonresident surcharge to new campsite reservations and first-come, first-served campers.

The additional fee was effective starting Aug. 10. The change does not affect existing reservations or people currently camping in a state park.

The increase will add up to 30 percent to the nightly cost to camp in a state park for nonresidents. Including lodging tax, the average cost for a full-service RV site is currently $33 per night will increase to an average of $42 for nonresidents making new reservations, or arriving without a reservation. The average tent rate is currently $19 per night and will increase to $23 for nonresidents.

The surcharge will remain in effect the rest of 2020. A decision about rates for 2021 will be made this autumn.

“We love serving all people, no matter where they live,” says Lisa Sumption, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Director. “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.”

In addition to encouraging recreation close to home, the surcharge could generate up to $500,000 through the end of the year to hire staff and pay for cleaning supplies and other park operations.

For more information, visit https://stateparks.oregon.gov.

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