Oregon Parks and Rec seeks public feedback on proposed rate range adjustments for state parks

EASTERN OREGON – (Release from Oregon Parks and Recreation) Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is seeking public comment on a proposal to adjust the ranges of rates that parks can charge for camping and other facilities in state parks starting in summer 2025.

Regular adjustments to rate ranges are necessary to respond to increases in utility costs, operations and maintenance needs, and inflation. Currently the rate range for tent campsites, for example, is $17 to $22 per night (plus any local lodging taxes). Rates vary by park and season. The proposal would increase the top end of the range to $29 per night before taxes. See the proposed rates.

Increasing the rate ranges does not mean that the current fees charged per night will increase automatically. Instead, the ranges provide flexibility to adjust fees within that range over time as needed. This avoids large increases all at once. 

Once rate ranges are adopted into rule, the state parks director has authority to adjust fees based on visitation patterns, increased costs and seasonal fluctuations up to four times per year (offering discounts during the fall/winter seasons for example). The first rate ranges were adopted into rule in 2018 and implemented by the department in 2019. 

In addition to rate-range adjustments, the proposed rules would:

  • Expand the 25% surcharge for out-of-state RV campers to include all site types for out-of-state campers.
  • Allow the director to determine which parks assess a day-use parking permit fee. Currently parks requiring a parking permit are listed in rule.

Public comments on the proposed rule change will be accepted through 5 p.m. August 30, 2024 and can be submitted:

Three public hearings will be held for the public to provide comments.

  • Virtual Hearing: Wednesday, July 31, 2024, 5:30 PM. Register to attend the hearing at: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_aT-S-tRHScONYnp8SxErmQ
  • In Person Hearings: Tuesday, August 6, 2024, 5:30 p.m., Nehalem Bay State Park Meeting Hall, 34600 Garey St, Nehalem, OR 97131
  • Tuesday, August 13, 2024, 5:30 p.m. North Mall Office Building, 725 Summer Street NE, Salem, OR 97301. Must arrive by 6 p.m. to testify.

The department is also seeking feedback via a short survey about opinions on camping facilities and programs that can be taken during the public comment period: https://form.jotform.com/241823872287162

Once the public comment period ends, the proposal with any incorporated updates is slated to go to Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission in September or November for possible adoption. Any changes in rate ranges would not be effective until the agency budget is approved by the Oregon legislature and signed by the Governor in 2025.