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Current Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds

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September 17, 2013 by   - () Leave a Comment

Maurice K. Goddard, father of the Pennsylvania State Park system

PENNSYLVANIA

From the Patriot-News, Harrisburg:

A multi-year project to raise awareness of the man that many refer to as the "father of Pennsylvania's modern state park system," the late Maurice K. Goddard, has been awarded the 2013 President's Award from the National Association of State Park Directors.

Goddard served as one of the state's leading advocates for conservation and the environment in the administrations of five governors from 1955-1979. During his tenure, the state park system doubled to 90 parks, fulfilling his vision of "a state park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian."

Click here to read the entire story.

NEW MEXICO

From the Cibola Beacon, Grants:

“We had to close the campground early because of vandalism,” reported Mount Taylor District Ranger Matt Reidy on Sept. 12.

The district is part of the Cibola National Forest and Grassland and provides five camping facilities for outdoor enthusiasts including hunters.

Apparently around the time of the Labor Day holiday one or more people destroyed the fee collection tube, often referred to as the “Iron Ranger.”

“Whoever did this used a heavy duty chain and a vehicle to pull the fee tube and its concrete pedestal out of the ground,” explained Reidy. “It was a malicious act.”

The facility has 15 sites and there is no limit to the number of campers per site. The district collects $5 per night per campsite, according to the ranger.

“We were forced to close the Coal Mine campground early this year because there was no way to collect the fees,” said Reidy.

The district has five campgrounds: Lobo Canyon, Coal Mine, Ojo Redondo, McGaffey, and Quaking Aspen. These facilities have been popular with hunters for decades, according to several public lands officials.

The District opens these seasonal campgrounds on Mother’s Day weekend each May and closes them by Sept. 15 explained the ranger.

“We are locking the gates today, Sept. 16,” said the ranger.

“Someone’s disrespect for property has forced us to close Coal Mine early,” emphasized Reidy. “We had to make this closure because there is no way to collect the camping fees.

NEBRASKA

From WOWT-TV, Omaha:

Last month, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission announced it would close nearly 30 state-run parks until next spring to deal with budget woes.

Now, the agency says community leaders are stepping up to keep some of those parks open.

The commission says local leaders have committed resources to keep open Pelican Point, Oliver Reservoir, Rock Creek and Cottonwood Lake state recreation areas. They are among the 29 state park areas targeted for temporary closure.

In addition, community leaders are working to provide staffing and funding to reinstate events this fall and winter at Arbor Lodge, Fort Atkinson and Buffalo Bill Ranch state historical parks, as well as Alexandria State Recreation Area.

FLORIDA

From the Pensacola Business Journal:

Superintendent Dan Brown couldn’t wait to tackle a few eyesore issues when he took over Gulf Islands National Seashore in 2010. Among them, renovating the nondescript, 1960s-era Fort Pickens camp store to give it some much-needed character change.

“The appearance of that building has bothered me since before I started working here,” Brown said. “It was constructed when Fort Pickens was a state park. It’s not the quality or caliber of a facility we’d expect to see in our national parks. To be quite frank, that building is ugly, ugly, ugly.”

Plans to completely replace the camp store with a combination store, campground check-in and restrooms have been put on hold, with federal budget constraints what they are these days.

In the interim, and during the lull between summer and fall tourism, the seashore has contracted Sunrise Contracting Co. of Pensacola to give the building a facelift, basically covering the bricks with hardy board and making it look more like the other historic buildings in the Fort Pickens area of the seashore.

The $183,383 project also calls for replacing windows that have been boarded up since Hurricane Ivan in 2004, installing hurricane shutters and replacing the doors with handicap accessible doors.

With one summer under their belt, the new Fort Pickens concession operators, who have expanded offerings by adding bicycle, paddleboard, and beach chair and umbrella rentals, said they’re focusing on beefing up inventory inside the store while contractors update the outside.

The idea is to give campers everything they need to prevent them from having to make long trips into Gulf Breeze to shop.

The concession operators are also preparing for a busy fall camping season after they received permission to expand their rental services into November. The improvements to the camp store building will be a plus, Rayner said.

COLORADO

From the Durango Herald:

The fading popularity of hunting and fishing is catching up to Colorado’s wildlife agency, which needs to cut about $10 million out of its budget next year.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife commissioners considered options to make cuts while keeping the agency running smoothly for hunters and anglers Thursday at a meeting in Montrose.

No cuts were finalized Thursday, but the governor-appointed Parks and Wildlife Commission told its staff to prepare to proceed with $9.9 million in cuts to the $80.7 million wildlife fund. The cuts include 17 full-time positions, some of which are vacant.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife was formed two years ago from the merger of the Division of Wildlife and the State Parks division.

The $10 million shortfall is entirely on the wildlife side of the agency, Hampton said.

It’s a reversal of fortune from the time of the merger, when the parks division was assumed to be the weaker partner after struggling with low revenue for years.

“Parks (division) is actually in good financial condition,” said Randy Hampton, the agency’s spokesman.

CALIFORNIA

From KGO-TV, San Francisco:

A fire that has burned more than 3,000 acres in and around Mount Diablo State Park over the past week has been 100% contained.

The Morgan Fire, which was initially reported around 1 p.m. Sunday off of Morgan Territory Road near the park and southeast of Clayton, was fully contained at 3,111 acres as of 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Cal Fire officials said.

Winds and dry vegetation helped fuel the fire, which prompted the evacuation of some 75 homes. Residents were allowed to return to their homes by Tuesday, according to fire officials.

Fire investigators have determined that target shooting in the area on Sunday caused the Morgan Fire.

Mount Diablo State Park is on track to partially reopen today, and crews are working to fix park trails and structures damaged in the blaze, according to park officials.

Click here to watch a video courtesy of KGO-TV.

WYOMING

From National Parks Traveler:

More than 100 earthquakes have shaken Yellowstone National Park since Sept. 10, with the strongest, a tremblor of 3.6 magnitude, felt Sunday (Sept. 15), according to the University of Utah Semisograph Stations.

The quake occurred at 9:53:02 a.m. Sunday; the epicenter of the shock was located in Yellowstone's Lower Geyser Basin area, 8 miles north of Old Faithful, and 15 miles southeast of West Yellowstone.

According to the seismograph station, the swarm began Sept. 10 and has included quakes near Lewis Lake, the Lower Geyser Basin and in an area northwest of Norris Geyser Basin.

"A total of 130 earthquakes of magnitude 0.6 to 3.6 have occurred in these three areas, however, most have occurred near the Lower Geyser Basin," park officials reported. "Notably, much of the seismicity in Yellowstone occurs as swarms. The University of Utah Seismograph Stations continues to monitor Yellowstone earthquakes and will provide additional information if the earthquake swarm activity increases."

WEST VIRGINIA

From The Associated Press:

West Virginians can pitch in at state parks through the next two weeks under the "Day to Serve" initiative.

This is the second year the state has been part of a multi-state effort to encourage more volunteerism. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says the state parks are a great place to do your part.

At Cacapon Resort State Park, the Piney Ridge Trail needs a restoration, while trail work awaits volunteers at Blackwater Falls State Park. Also at Blackwater, a volunteer litter patrol will clean up around Pendleton Lake.

At Twin Falls State Park, volunteers can build or maintain biking trails.

 

 

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