Latest Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds

May 31, 2013 by · Comments Off on Latest Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds 


From the Statesman Journal, Salem:

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is celebrating State Parks Day on June 1 with free tent, RV and horse campsites and free day-use parking at state parks throughout Oregon.

State Parks Day is held on the first Saturday in June each year. It was established in 1998 by a joint resolution of the Oregon State Legislative Assembly.

“It’s a great way to thank Oregonians and visitors for their support of our state parks,” said OPRD Director Tim Wood. “A day of free parking and a night of free camping gives everyone a chance to enjoy the experience of being outdoors during the summer.”

From the Register-Guard, Eugene:

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Eugene district campgrounds are now open for extended weekends — but only for weekends — because of decreased staffing tied to projected federal budget cuts known as sequestration.

The campgrounds at Clay Creek, Whittaker Creek, Shotgun Creek and Sharps Creek will be open from 9 a.m. Friday to 2 p.m. Monday each week. The campsites in years past have typically been open every day during the summer camping season.

“We’ve had to shorten the hours to manage,” BLM Eugene district spokesman Michael Mascari said of the anticipated budget cuts.

Although the budget reductions — a mandatory $85 billion in across-the-board government spending cuts — have not yet taken effect, the BLM Eugene district is taking precautionary measures to prepare for the cuts, Mascari said.

“We know they’re coming,” he said.

The bureau’s campgrounds and recreation areas are dispersed in multiple directions: Clay Creek is south of Whittaker Creek; Whittaker Creek is west of Walton and south of Highway 126; Shotgun Creek is off Marcola Road; and Sharps Creek is southeast of Cottage Grove.


From The Associated Press:

U.S. Forest Service officials say falling trees pose an increasing threat to hikers, bikers, campers and others in the Black Hills National Forest of western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming.

The reason is that pine trees killed by mountain pine beetles on hundreds of thousands of acres are decaying and becoming more likely to tumble.

Forest Service official Dave Slepnikoff says windy days are particularly dangerous. His advice is for people in the forest to be aware of their surroundings and look up from time to time.

The Forest Service has removed some potentially dangerous trees near campgrounds and other high-traffic areas.


From WHO-TV, Des Moines:

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says it had to evacuate cabins at Pine Lake State Park near Eldora due to the rising Iowa River.

Authorities evacuated the four family cabins around 11:00 Wednesday night. The DNR says the move is just a precaution and as of now the park is still open.

Four other state parks are closed due to flooding: George Wythe State Park, Dolliver State Park, Walnut Woods State Park and Backbone State Park.

Springbrook State Park and Rock Creek State Park were both reopened Thursday (May 30).

The DNR says several weddings and graduation parties had to be moved last minute due to flooding.


From, Laurie:

Four state park swimming beaches have been temporarily closed for e. coli, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR). However, public beaches at Lake of the Ozarks have passed water quality tests this week and remain open.

The state park beaches at Finger Lakes located in Columbia, Harry S Truman located in Warsaw and Wakonda located in La Grange are closed following results of water samples taken Tuesday that indicated bacteria levels higher than those recommended for waters used for swimming. Earlier this week, the state park beach at Thousand Hills located in Kirksville closed due to flooding. The beach remains closed due to flooding as well as high bacteria levels.

The campground beach at Harry S Truman State Park remains open. Visitors to Harry S Truman State Park may stop by the office or fee booth to obtain a pass free of charge to swim at the campground beach. Once tests from the four state park beaches indicate the bacteria levels are within the standard suitable for swimming, the beaches will reopen.


From a news release:

Opening ceremonies for Plumas National Forest’s new equestrian campground facilities near Quincy will be held Saturday (June 1) at the Snake Lake Campground on the Mt. Hough Ranger District. Festivities begin at 1 p.m.

Amenities at the campground now include eight new campsites designed for equestrian users, eight corrals, nine family campsites, picnic tables, and campfire rings. Activities at the site include fishing, hiking, horseback riding, off-highway vehicle trail riding, and non-motorized boating.

The project was made possible by two grants from the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 awarded to the Plumas County Chapter of High Mountain Riders in partnership with the Plumas National Forest.

From a news release:

Sunland RV Resorts is helping celebrate the 18th annual air show in El Cajon, Calif., with a Wings Over Gillespie Giveaway.

Guests staying at one of Sunland’s three East County properties during the air show, June 1-2, are automatically entered to win a pair of event tickets. One winner from Oak Creek RV Resort, Circle RV Resort and Vacationer RV Park will be picked at random and announced May 30, 2013.

The 18th Annual Wings Over Gillespie is slated to feature Silver Wings Wingwalking, the PBY Catalina, the C-53 “D-Day Doll,” and John Collver’s War Dog T6/SNJ aerial display. Wings Over Gillespie is presented by Air Group One, San Diego’s wing of the CAF, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the preservation of World War II aircrafts and the history of World War II aviation.





Current Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds

April 30, 2013 by · Comments Off on Current Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds 

Some weather-related closures


From the Business & Heritage, Clarksville, Tenn.:

Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area management officials have announced a temporary closure of some areas due to the excessive rains over the weekend.

Land Between The Lakes (LBL) received excessive rainfall throughout the day Saturday leading to extremely saturated soil conditions that caused the temporary closure of Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area, as of April 29, until further notice. Turkey Bay management will re-evaluate trail conditions as the weather improves.

Portions of Cravens Bay Campground also are closed.

If lake levels continue to rise, additional areas may be affected.


From CKOM Radio, Saskatoon:

In a matter of minutes, the Katepwa Campground was under water. The resort village near Fort Qu’Appelle was hit fast and hard by flood waters Sunday afternoon (April 28).

“Literally in the space of half an hour to 45 minutes, the water rose there two to three feet” says Katepwa resident Curtis Kemp. “You can watch it rise.”

The village had been preparing for these floodwaters since the release of the Water Security Agency’s flood forecast. The area also experienced flooding in 2011.

“I think there was some doubt that it was going to be as bad because it has been so long, and there has been a bit of a slow melt here.”

Kemp says flood waters are running over the channel that runs though the village of Katepwa. That water is spilling into the campground.

A number of trailers in that campground are now sitting in water. Kemp estimates the size of the area at 30 acres.

Water is even lapping at some of the homes on the outlying areas of the village.

Kemp thinks at this point, the source of the water is runoff from the valley and fields, and thankfully not from the nearby lake.

Spring run-off is also beginning to impact travel in southern Saskatchewan.


From WOWT-TV, Omaha:

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park is in the limelight this month as it was named to Midwest Living magazine’s list of the Top Five “Supercampgrounds” in the Midwest. The Top Five crown a list of 24 regional campgrounds recommended by Midwest Living in the May issue of the magazine.

To make their selections, Midwest Living’s editorial team researched hundreds of RV campgrounds in 12 states.

“We know how much Midwesterners like to camp,” said Kendra Williams, senior travel editor, and the producer of the article. In fact, the National Association of Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) reports that more Midwesterners (27%) cite camping as a hobby than people in any other region in the country. Williams added that “every amenity, from the cleanliness of the restrooms and things to do for kids, to scenic vistas and prices to summer events were factored” into their article research.

“I love that Mahoney appeals to all kinds of travelers: people who want to tent camp, RV camp, stay in a cabin — or just hang out for the day,” Williams said. “You can swim and take out pedal boats, make crafts, go horseback riding, zoom down the water slides and end your day with s’mores over a fire.

In 2012, Mahoney welcomed 1,126,000 visitors and was the third most visited attraction in Nebraska behind Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and the Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala State Recreation Areas.


From the Summit County Citizens Voice:

Campers in western Colorado will have more options this summer, as the Bureau of Land Management quadrupled the size of the Rabbit Valley Campground, from four spots to 16.

The campground, in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area west of Grand Junction, will be closed for several weeks while the work — including two new group campsites — is under way. The campground road will be improved, and each campsite will now have a tent pad, fire ring and picnic table.

“Rabbit Valley is a great place to car camp, and these improvements are designed to enhance the camping experience for visitors,” said Ben Blom, acting National Conservation Area manager for the BLM Grand Junction Field Office.

Boaters looking to camp in one of the 35 camping spots available along the Ruby-Horsethief stretch of the Colorado River are also seeing some changes.

Boaters wishing to camp in this area between May 1 and Sept. 30 are required to obtain a permit in advance from the BLM office in Grand Junction. New this year, permits will be issued from the BLM office in Grand Junction for every day of the week and no self-issued permits will be available at the Loma launch site. Last year only weekend permits were available at the office.


From The Journal News, White Plains:

Starting this summer, Orangetown residents will have a chance to take a cool dip in the pool at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds.

Town officials have reached a deal with the campground to open its “Family Park” pool facility at 89A Sickletown Road in Pearl River to residents on summer weekends and holidays. Access will be limited to 200 paying memberships.

Orangetown is the only municipality in Rockland County without a public pool.

The facility will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from June 21 through Labor Day.

The Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds, started in 1953, is a nonprofit that hosts Jewish day camps. In addition to Pearl River, it runs campgrounds on Long Island and Staten Island.

The campground will charge $450 for a family membership and $350 for the families of town employees and emergency service volunteers. Senior and individual rates also are available. As of Monday, about 80 memberships had been snatched up, Ward said.


Latest Briefs from RV Parks/Campgrounds

April 19, 2013 by · Comments Off on Latest Briefs from RV Parks/Campgrounds 


Aerial view of Niagara Falls, taken by Ron Snyder. Photo courtesy of


From The Associated Press:

Tourism leaders in Niagara Falls that’s home to the state’s most-visited park would like New York officials to come up with a method to get a more accurate count of annual attendance.

State parks officials say more than 8 million people visit Niagara Falls State Park every year. The figure is based mostly on estimates from paid attendance, parking lot usage and patron counts at a nearby visitor center.

But since the physical layout of the park lends itself to free-flowing pedestrian traffic in and out, it’s difficult to accurately determine the number of visitors.

The Niagara Gazette reports that local parks commissioners have asked the Cuomo administration for a visitor research study. The local officials say the study would help efforts to market and promote all the area’s tourist attractions.


From The Associated Press:

Audra State Park in West Virginia is still recovering from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Superintendent Jon Teets says the storm hit the park in Barbour County hard on Oct. 29, 2012. Work to remove downed trees and brush is expected to continue into the fall.

Employees of other state parks helped Audra’s staff clear roads and trails during the winter and early spring. The state hired Davey Tree Service to cut and remove trees and brush at both Audra and Holly River State Park in Webster County.

Teets says the campground has reopened and most campsites will be available.

From The Associated Press:

A bond sale will help expand and improve facilities at Cacapon Resort State Park in Morgan County.

The state Economic Development Authority on Thursday (April 18) approved minor changes to a resolution that helps clear the way for next month’s sale of more than $24 million in bonds.

The project includes an 80-room addition with a fitness area, an indoor-outdoor pool and a sauna, along with improvements to the park’s 18-hole golf course.

The Legislature last year allowed the sale of up to $52 million in bonds for improvements at Cacapon and Beech Fork state parks.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports the authority stipulated that any leftover revenue generated by the bond sale for Cacapon can be applied to improvements at Beech Fork in Wayne County.


From the East Village Magazine, Flint:

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making great strides in preparing for the Nov. 1 Central Reservation System transition to a new vendor, Camis Inc., with its headquarters in Ann Arbor. Camis will provide a new and improved reservation system for managing state park and harbor reservations.

This transition will have some short-term impacts to customers making campground reservations beginning next month.

Reservations for campsites typically have a six-month window for advance booking. However, as the transition date approaches, this window will shrink. Camp site reservations can be made in the current system, either online or through the call center, for stays through the end of October. Reservations in the new system will be accepted beginning November.

When the DNR fully transfers to the new system in November, the six-month window of advance registration for campsites will be restored.

“One of the DNR’s goals is to keep the impact to our customers as minimal as possible,” said Christa Sturtevant-Good, DNR liaison for the Central Reservation System. “We even plan to keep the web address for online reservations and the call center phone number the same when we transition over.”

“When we fully transition to the new reservation software, our customers will have access to a robust online reservation system that will offer broader search capabilities and campsite photos,” said Ron Olson, DNR parks and recreation division chief. “This advanced software will allow us to capture the beauty of our state parks and share that with our guests when they make reservations.”

Customers will be informed as plans for the new system progress through press releases and at


From a Bureal of Land Management press release:

Anticipating help from Jackson County, the State of Oregon Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), as well as the angling community, the Medford District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to open the Hyatt Lake boat ramps and parking lot on April 25. The volunteers will help with the patrol of the campground and lake while the BLM will install a portable toilet and plow the ramp and parking areas.

Hyatt Lake Recreation Complex in southwestern Oregon.

Due to continued budget uncertainties, the campground and other facilities at Hyatt Lake will remain closed and subject to a delayed opening, which will possibly occur in mid-May. Until that time, the permanent restrooms and the fish cleaning station will be closed and signs prohibiting camping will be posted. Camping is available at nearby Howard Prairie Lake.

Trash service will also not be available until all services are in place at Hyatt Lake. In the interim, those using the ramps and parking areas are asked to pack out any trash.

Hyatt Lake Recreation Complex is one of the prime camping sites in southern Oregon and includes a wide variety of recreational opportunities like the Hyatt Lake and Wildcat campgrounds with a total of 47 pull-in sites and seven walk-in sites, a group camping area, a group day-use shelter, a fire circle, restroom facilities, showers, a trailer dump station, a ball field, boat ramps and dock facilities, a fish cleaning station, a sand volleyball court, a basketball goal, horseshoe pits, a children’s playground and an equestrian campsite.


Prof: ‘Grand Canyon State Park’ A Bad Idea

March 11, 2013 by · Comments Off on Prof: ‘Grand Canyon State Park’ A Bad Idea 

John Freemuth

The following opinion piece was written by John Freemuth, a professor of political science and public policy at Boise State University and appeared in the High Country News, Peoria, Colo.

We have been immersed in another round of what some like to call “public lands theater,” the seemingly endless war over who best to manage or, perhaps even own, the federal land estate of the United States. Last year the Arizona legislature tried to demand almost all the federal lands within its boundaries, even the Grand Canyon. The legislature submitted the demand to a vote of Arizonians, and lost 66% to 33%. Perhaps the notion of “Grand Canyon State Park” put some people off. It put me off, but I was a ranger at Lees Ferry once.

Utah began heading down the same path, thought better of it, and then first called for a study of the various issues and problems regarding the management of federal lands. Idaho and New Mexico have also considered similar moves and strategies; certainly an unbiased study makes sense. What I would like to do here is outline some starting points for conversations that might move things in a positive direction.

1. These lands are public lands managed by the national government. Congress can decide that the states ought to manage them, by transferring such lands. This is the only way to do this. States cannot “demand” them, say that federal management is unconstitutional or “require” the national government to hand them over. The supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, and court understandings that federal lands are federal property, make that clear.

2. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and forest planning regulations have created frustrating decision gridlock. Most observers, on all sides of land management debates, and Forest Service professionals, think there is a lot of room for reform.

3. The proposition that “the states can do a better job” makes no sense. They could not, if they had to follow all the laws and procedures that federal land agencies must follow. Because state land is managed under a different legal mandate, we are comparing apples to oranges. A proper way to test this assertion would be to hold all management mandates the same.

4. Not every acre under federal management needs to be so. The system was not created through some sort of rational land designation process. Conversely, certain newer concerns, such as the protection of biodiversity, confront the fact that federally managed protected areas do not always align with where the species are. Boundaries should be open to alteration.

5. Collaboration is slow, painful and is often, but not always, working. More timber is coming off some national forests in Idaho due to collaborative agreement. The people involved in the Idaho collaboratives have learned a great deal and have insights on how to make effective recommendations and where the land mines lie. I have watched them work and applaud their efforts. They are practicing democracy. It is true elsewhere too.

6. Many Easterners, including the media, often don’t know the difference between national parks and national forests, and they haven’t a clue about the Bureau of Land Management. Nonetheless they feel that these are public lands, partly theirs. They might be receptive to concerns of Westerners with extensive federal land in their backyards, and the lost revenues that often means, but we have yet to discover a common starting point for these conversations.


The Latest in RV Park and Campground Briefs

February 28, 2013 by · Comments Off on The Latest in RV Park and Campground Briefs 


From a news release:

The Meadville KOA Campground is celebrating 35 years of serving camping families. Located 7 miles east of Meadville on Route 27, this one-time fish hatchery and auction barn is now a highly rated, award-winning KOA Campground.

“We have multiple generations of campers camping with us,” said Meadville KOA owner Tim Chilson. “We’ve not only served them and their children, but we now have their grandchildren and great-grandchildren camping with us. Our goal is to provide a fun and safe family camping environment where families make memories that last a lifetime.”

The Meadville KOA is offering multiple special discounts and vacation specials this summer as a thank you to their camping guests and to celebrate their 35th year of operation.

The campground was purchased by Tim and Robyn Chilson in October of 1999 who renamed it Brookdale Family Campground. Since their purchase, the Chilsons have added 10 new full-hook-up pull-thru 50-amp campsites for big rigs, free Wi-Fi to all the campsites, a new camping cabin, two new deluxe lake-front cabins and additional rental recreation with an 18-hole mini golf, a jumping pillow and pedal karts.

In 2011, the campground joined Kampgrounds of America (KOA) as the Meadville KOA. Meadville KOA was honored to achieve both a guest “A Rating” from Guest Reviews and the KOA President’s Awards in 2011. They have won the KOA President’s Award each year since joining the KOA family.

The Chilsons are certified park operators by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). They are members of ARVC and are graduates of the ARVC’s National School of RV Park and Campground Management. They are members of the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association where Tim Chilson serves as the regional vice president for Western Pennsylvania, and they are members of KOA Owners Association.


From the Coeur d’ Alene Press:

The Bureau of Land Management’s Coeur d’Alene District is looking for volunteer campground hosts for the upcoming summer season at two distinctly different locations.

The first location is Mica Bay Boaters Park, located about 10 minutes south of Coeur d’Alene along the west shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

The second location is the Hammer Creek Recreation Site along the free-flowing Lower Salmon River south of Grangeville. Hammer Creek is a popular destination for camping, picnicking and swimming, as well as a common put-in site for rafters floating the river. The Hammer Creek site offers 12 campsites.

For more information, contact John Mottern, park ranger, regarding the Mica Bay Boater Park at (208) 769-5002 and Joe O’Neill, outdoor recreation planner, regarding the Hammer Creek Recreation Site at (208) 962-3683 or go to

From a news release:

Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) has officially launched its new “Parks Perks” program in conjunction with the Idaho State Parks Passport.

The Parks Perks program invites Idaho businesses to become “Parks Perks Providers” and offer a discount of their choosing to Idaho State Parks Passport holders. The program hopes to attract increased traffic and revenue for Idaho businesses and adds additional value to the Idaho State Parks Passport. Providers can range from restaurants to travel agents to car repair shops.

Businesses interested in becoming Parks Perks providers can visit and download an informational brochure and application form. The program is 100% free for providers.

How it works: Anyone who has purchased an Idaho State Parks Passport for 2013/2014 is already enrolled and eligible to receive their Parks Perks at participating businesses. In order to receive the Parks Perks discount offered, Passport holders will need to show their Parks Perks program member slip, which they received on their Passport receipt. A copy of what the slip looks like can be found at the website below.

For more information, please visit


From an Indiana Department of Natural Resources news release:

Summit Lake State Park in New Castle and Mounds State Park in Anderson will each host a job fair on March 5 for people interested in seasonal employment.

Both fairs will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the main office at each park.

Seasonal positions that may be available in these or other state park or reservoir locations for the summer include groundskeeping and maintenance, entrance gate and campground gate attendants, seasonal interpretive naturalists, security, and lifeguards for the Mounds aquatic center.

People unable to attend the fairs can still apply for seasonal employment by calling the properties.

For more information, call Summit Lake at (765) 766-5873 or Mounds at (765) 642-6627.


Vandals Damage Vets’ Park in New Mexico

February 21, 2013 by · Comments Off on Vandals Damage Vets’ Park in New Mexico 

A request for help combating vandalism at a park established nearly 40 years ago on federal land by a local veterans group in northwest New Mexico has opened up questions about public access, protection of an endangered bird and who controls the site, The Daily Times, Farmington, reported.

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2182 operate the campsite and picnic area on U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land along the Old Blanco Highway a few miles east of Bloomfield. Veterans use the area to recreate and have picnics. It has been used as a quiet, non-threatening space for veterans to come and relax, especially those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders, they said.

The VFW also rents the area — it charges a nominal fee that helps recoup utility and clean-up costs — for weddings, Boy Scout events, high school graduation celebrations, local teacher organization meetings and sports team get-togethers.

James Clark, the post commander, said vandals were becoming more of a nuisance, stealing a campground refrigerator and some repair tools. He said the bathroom floor had recently had paint smeared all over it.

The VFW placed a lock on the entry gate to the site and have routinely kept it closed each winter.

The request to the BLM for help controlling vandalism and permission for a homeless veteran to live year-round at the site as a caretaker was met with a demand that the VFW relinquish control over the site until a new agreement can be reached.

Click here to read the entire story.


BLM Updates Status of Campgrounds in Eastern Sierras

July 3, 2012 by · Comments Off on BLM Updates Status of Campgrounds in Eastern Sierras 

Some campgrounds in the Eastern Sierras of California managed by the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Bishop Field Office are open to the public with major upgrades completed, according to a news release.

The project – to renovate five campgrounds managed by the BLM – began in the spring of 2011. The upgrades were long overdue, said Jeff Yanez, BLM project manager. “These campgrounds, with the exception of Pleasant Valley Pit Campground, were constructed in the late 1960s and have long exceeded their expected lifetime. Our goal has been to upgrade the sites in order to lower maintenance costs, provide universal access and protect wildlife habitat in the area. Where feasible, we have provided potable water and RV dump stations to better serve the needs of the public.”

The camping fee will remain $5 per night and campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Tuttle Creek Campground is now open with a new state-of-the-art solar-powered potable water system and recreational vehicle dump station. It also has a new group site that is available for reservation, two walk-in tent sites and several new pull-through sites for larger RVs. It has been upgraded with new vault toilets, fire rings and picnic tables. Future plans include the installation of horse corrals.
  • Horton Creek Campground is open and should have potable water online by the middle of July. It also has a new RV dump station and pull-through sites for larger RVs. Horton has been remodeled with new vault toilets, fire rings and picnic tables. The final planned upgrade will be to pave the site road which will occur in the late fall or early spring.
  • Crowley Lake Campground is currently open, but will close July 8 to finish the installation of a potable water distribution system. When reopened in mid-September, it will have a RV dump station in addition to potable water. It will also have new vault toilets, fire rings and picnic tables.
  • Goodale Creek Campground should open by early August, with some pull-through sites for larger RV’s and new restrooms, fire rings and picnic tables. The BLM also is in the process of constructing an interpretive nature trail for the public to enjoy which will highlight various natural features found in the area including local flora and fauna.

“Despite our best efforts, Goodale Creek Campground will remain a dry campground as attempts to drill a well have been unsuccessful due to the unstable and unpredictable nature of the local geology. We will still be able to irrigate the trees and clean the restrooms with untreated surface water but we will not be able provide potable water to the public,” he said.


RV Park and Campground Briefs

May 14, 2012 by · Comments Off on RV Park and Campground Briefs 


From the Santee Patch:

The Santee Lakes took the top prize as the 2012 Readers’ Choice for Best Local Stay-cation in Santee.

The vote was a landslide. The lakes took 77 percent, with Carlton Oaks getting 13 percent and Barona Resort and Casino taking eight percent.

The Santee Lakes make just about the perfect stay-cation get away, with cabins (some even float!), lots of camping and RV spots, fishing, trails and all sorts of fun for the whole family.


From a news release:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Moab Field Office has released the Draft Business Plan for BLM Moab Campgrounds. This plan proposes to increase camping fees for overnight stays in the 27 campgrounds managed by the BLM in the Moab Field Office. The proposed fee change is to raise the current $8 camping fee to $10, the current $12 camping fee to $15 and to raise the group site fees by about 25 percent. The change is proposed to begin on March 1, 2013.

The 27 campgrounds managed by the Moab BLM offer overnight visitors an array of amenities including vault toilets, picnic tables, garbage service, designed campsites, graveled roads, shade shelters, campground host services, interpretive signing and tent pads. Selected campgrounds also have drinking water systems. The group sites associated with these campgrounds offer reservable sites for large groups. BLM provides campground patrol by both Law Enforcement and recreation personnel. The campgrounds are fully subscribed in the spring and fall seasons, and also receive heavy use in the summer.

The Draft Business Plan also addresses additional campground infrastructure needs throughout the system. The Business Plan is available online at The Utah Recreation Resource Advisory Council will be meeting on Aug. 7, 2012 to consider the proposed increases.

Comments by U.S. mail: BLM, Campground Business Plan Comment, 82 E. Dogwood, Moab, UT 84532; or e-mail: with the Subject Line: Campground Business Plan.

Comments are due by July 3. Include your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in comments. Be aware personal identifying information may be made publicly available.

For more information call the BLM Moab Field Office, (435) 259-2100.

KOA’s Jim Rogers Takes Outdoor Message to D.C.

September 22, 2010 by · Comments Off on KOA’s Jim Rogers Takes Outdoor Message to D.C. 

KOA's Jim Rogers (second from left) confers with Dirk Kempthorne (second from right) and Kempthorne staff members during a recent visit in Washington, D.C.

Earlier this summer, Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) CEO Jim Rogers visited with leaders in Washington, D.C., who share his interest in improving America’s outdoor recreation.

Roger’s message: KOA’s nearly half-century of camping, guest service and outdoor recreation experience is a valuable resource for our country’s public agencies and their guests. Rogers believes that a collaborative effort between public agencies and the private sector is a necessary step toward achieving national outdoor recreation and healthy lifestyle goals, according to a KOA news release.

Rogers’ meetings in the nation’s capital were held to increase dialog about potential ways to enhance the outdoor recreation experience across America and are an example of KOA’s goals to provide families with fun, healthy and memorable outdoor recreation experiences.

“KOA is looking for public recreation and park leaders who want to share campground management expertise to add revenue-generating features and better services for campers,” said Rogers. “KOA has been sharing its campground management learnings and innovations for nearly 50 years. And, considering the significant future challenges for public campground funding, it seems appropriate for us to reach out to our public sector partners to discuss ways we can work together.”

“At KOA, we look at trends, such as the leisure activities of the Baby Boomer generation and we are investigating ways to engage America’s fast-growing, ethnic populations in outdoor activities. We’re optimistic that 44% of campers today are planning to get outdoors and go camping more in the near future. Both public and private outdoor recreation proponents can plan wisely, to give outdoor enthusiasts what they’re looking for and motivate others to get outside,” said Rogers.

Rogers shared several of KOA’s key strategies for engaging people in outdoor activities, including: connecting with youth; keeping programs simple, low-cost and fun; creating experiences that people remember and want to repeat; and using innovative technologies to help connect people with the outdoors.

Rogers met with key staffer James Hague, of Sen. Mark Udall’s, D-Colo., office. Udall is co-chairman of the bipartisan Senate Outdoor Recreation Caucus, which promotes healthy, active lifestyles and fosters an appreciation of America’s outdoors, through many outdoor activities, including camping.

The message for U.S. states and public agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is that KOA continues to demonstrate successful strategies for engaging families in outdoor recreation and that KOA’s private sector experience can be a valuable resource for public agencies with parallel goals.

Jim Rogers (second from left) shares a Roll-a-Roster with key recreation providers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management during meetings in Washington, D.C., in May.

Rogers also met with former Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, a long-time champion of outdoor recreation, to discuss the importance of making recreation on public lands a national priority, again using the private sector model as a key resource for enhancing public programs by incorporating ways to provide better, guest-oriented service, among other methods.

Assisting Jim was Bruce Ward, who serves as a consultant to KOA. He is the former president of the American Hiking Society, founder and former executive director of the Continental Divide Trail Alliance and founder and president of Choose Outdoors, a coalition of outdoor recreation interests.

“Now, more than ever, it is critical we join forces to develop a 21st century vision for outdoor recreation in America,” said Ward. “The stakes are high: the literal and figurative health of our country is at great risk. We must step forward and work together toward substantive and innovative solutions to preserve and expand our recreation legacy.”

Rogers and Chris Fairlee, KOA assistant vice president of system development, will represent KOA at next week’s meeting of the National Association of State Park Directors in Santa Fe, N.M., where KOA is a sponsor. Rogers will speak about ways state parks can achieve sustainability through utilizing lessons learned by KOA in the camping business. KOA will share a booth at the meeting with the Boy Scouts of America, where Rogers is president of the Western Region and recent recipient of the group’s Silver Antelope Award.

Bloggers Report on Quartszite Camping Activity

December 17, 2009 by · Comments Off on Bloggers Report on Quartszite Camping Activity 


Quartzsite, Ariz., campground. Photo courtesy of RVing Quartzsite blog.

Quartzsite, Ariz., campground. Photo courtesy of RVing Quartzsite blog.

Editor’s Note: Russ and Tina De Maris, authors of the RVing Quartzsite blog, posted this blog about Quartzsite, Ariz., a popular winter destination for RVers.

A big question this time of year for Quartzsite: How many RVers are here? How many more will come? If an informal census from a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) official will answer that question, here’s your answer:

The number of “short-term” visitors – those who are RVing on Quartzsite’s 14-day areas – seems to be down. While quite a number showed up in early November (probably higher than normal for the time frame), just before Thanksgiving the numbers dropped substantially. “I think maybe they went home for Thanksgiving,” an unidentified BLM official told us, “But I think they’ll be back.”

The Long-Term Visitor Areas are a different story. Here, the feeling of our BLM buddy is that the numbers are up a bit higher than usual for this part of the season. The colder than normal weather hasn’t seemed to have been a big detriment: “It’s a lot warmer here than it is back home,” is the usual comment from Snow Bird RVers.

Quartzsite’s huge influx of winter visitors – said to exceed 1 million folks passing through during the season – is supported by the Bureau of Land Management’s creation of camping areas. Five short-term areas allow free camping for up to a two-week period. While RVers are asked to obtain a permit, the agency doesn’t charge for the paperwork. The areas are most decidedly “primitive,” and RVers here will need to be prepared to “boondock,” providing their own water and electric supplies. After a two-week stay, BLM rules require moving off the short-term area; campers may not stay on any other free BLM lands within a 25-mile radius, preventing a “shuttle camp” lifestyle.

Four long-term visitor areas, all south of Quartzsite on Highway 95, charge a fee. However, the Long-Term areas provide users with some facilities, including fresh water and dump station access, and Dumpsters for solid waste disposal. Permits for the Long Term Visitor Areas are good at any of the four Quartzsite LTVAs, and also give access to some other LTVAs in Arizona and California.

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