RV Park and Campground Briefs
From the Associated Press:
All of Yellowstone National Park's campgrounds are now open for the summer.
The Lewis Lake campground opened Friday after it was finally cleared of snow and ice. However, five sites at the campground are still off limits because they're underwater. Those sites likely won't open until August.
Campers should expect some wet and muddy conditions over the next few weeks as snow continues to melt.
From the Associated Press:
The Big Lake Recreation Area near Show Low, Ariz., was set to reopen today (July 8) after it was forced to close because of the Wallow wildfire. The fire which burned more than 538,000 acres forced emergency closures of all campgrounds in northeastern Arizona.
U.S. Forest Service officials have given their approval to reopen the Big Lake Recreation Area at noon.
Other campground openings include Winn, Benny Creek and Hoyer campgrounds. While most of the area will be reopening for campers, some campgrounds will remain closed including Alpine Divide, Luna Lake and all East Fork, West Fork and South Fork campgrounds.
Campground openings are strictly limited to designated campgrounds. All dispersed camping is still restricted. Also, all current fire restrictions remain in place; no campfires are allowed at this time.
From the Boston Herald:
A Taunton, Mass., man accused of killing his domestic partner at a Cape Cod campground has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.
James Costello was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Thursday in Barnstable Superior Court.
The 45-year-old Costello is charged with killing 41-year-old David Walton at a Provincetown campground in April.
Walton was found dead April 3 outside the office at the Coastal Acres Campground by police. Costello was asleep next to him. The two lived together in Taunton.
The Cape Cod Times reports that Costello’s attorney retained the right to seek bail at a later date.
A pretrial conference is scheduled for July 28.
From The Kansas, Newton, Kan.:
The board of commissioners in Harvey County, Kan., has approved a request by Terry Stanford for a conditional-use permit to operate an RV park and rental storage business in an A-1 agricultural zoning district.
The property is near Burrton about 30 miles northwest of Wichita in the center of the state, one half mile south of Southwest 24th on the east side of South Wheat State Road.
The Harvey County Regional Planning Commission recommended approval of the request by a unanimous vote at its June 7 meeting on the condition that no more than 10 RV parking sites are allowed, and both the RV parking and rental storage business are operated within the existing five acres that are fenced.
There were no letters or petitions protesting the permit.
From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent:
The danger posed by large trees at Avalanche Campground south of Carbondale has convinced the U.S. Forest Service to close most of the campsites there.
The agency has now closed nine campsites at Avalanche, all along the creek, according to Martha Moran, recreation staff supervisor with the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District. Four first-come, first-served sites away from the creek remain open.
The sites remained open through the July 4 weekend and closed on Tuesday. The picnic tables at each of the sites have been pulled out, she said.
Three of the sites were closed last summer because of the dangers posed by aging or beetle-infested trees. On Memorial Day weekend this year, high winds toppled a healthy blue spruce at another site. The big tree grazed an unoccupied tent.
After evaluating the dangers posed by other large trees, some of which are healthy and some of which may not be, the agency closed the additional campsites rather than cut multiple trees down along the creek, Moran said.
“We just don't want to be out there cutting trees in the riparian zone,” she said.
Moran estimated that upward of 50 mature trees would have to be cut to keep the sites open.
Instead, after an evaluation process that allows for public comment, the Forest Service will aim to build new campsites elsewhere in the vicinity — where the designated parking for horse trailers is currently located, she said.
Avalanche Campground is 13 miles south of Carbondale, off Highway 133.
From the Gainesville (Fla.) Times:
Plans for Don Carter State Park on Lake Lanier in north Georgia are moving along slowly but are on track to be advertised to contractors by the end of the month.
"They think they could begin the actual physical construction of the park in November, and the goal is to open the park in Spring 2013," said Kim Hatcher, public affairs coordinator for the Parks, Recreation & Historic Sites Division of the DNR.
Department of Natural Resources officials are gathering information to obtain permitting from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the state park, which would be the first on Lake Lanier.
Representatives from Hall County Public Works are planning to contact the DNR to swap county and state land so North Browning Bridge Road, where the park is planned, can accommodate more traffic and larger recreational vehicles, Public Works Executive Director Ken Rearden said.
The two agencies will collaborate to widen the narrow, snaking, partially paved road that will run through the campground.
The site's infrastructure will be built from scratch, complete with paving roads and installing water, sewer and electrical lines. Construction costs are estimated at $11.3 million, said David Clark, DNR engineering and construction chief.
The bidding period for this sort of project is usually 30 days, he added, but that period might be extended due to the size of the job. Construction of docks, boat ramps and other amenities directly on or near the water are dependent on permission from the corps.
The estimated 1,040-acre park will offer an extensive visitor center, at least five cabins, tent sites, playgrounds, an acre of beach, picnic shelters, docks with two boat ramps, recreational vehicle camp sites, comfort stations, a bath house and hiking and equestrian trails.
All those amenities bring some concerns from local residents, though.
Hatcher said the site for Don Carter State Park was chosen specifically for its serene atmosphere.
"It's on the northern part of Lake Lanier, which is actually the quieter part of Lanier," she said. "Lanier is a very popular, high-density lake, and this is going to give people a little bit quieter place to go on the lake and provide more parkland, more access to the water."
From WSAZ-TV, Huntington:
The Huntington District Corps of Engineers say Burnsville Lake’s Riffle Run Campground reopened last week after a year's worth of upgrades.
The site has been closed to the public since June 2010.
This after 54 campsites in Riffle Run now have water and sewer hookups, as well as electric pedestals that have been upgraded to 50 amps.
New playground equipment was also installed at the campground.
The six primitive sites in the Riffle Run Left Fork Campground were not upgraded.