Summer is officially canceled at some Oregon state parks.
While campgrounds across the state continue to slowly reopen, nearly a half-dozen will not welcome back overnight visitors through Labor Day. Oregon State Parks and Recreation announced today that plummeting funding and reduced staff levels means it simply won't be able to operate certain sites this season.
A sizable chunk of the agency's money comes from user fees, which dried up once Gov. Kate Brown issued a stay-home order in March to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. And even though some parks are now accepting camping reservations, many remain off limits, particularly those located in popular locations like the Columbia Gorge.
Most of the affected parks are along the Southern Oregon Coast. The one closest to Portland is Devil's Lake State Recreation Area campground in Lincoln City. The East Devil's Lake State Park, a popular boat launch, is accessible during the day.
Oregon State Parks is automatically canceling reservations and issuing complete refunds.
Here is a complete list of closures:
Alfred A. Loeb State Park, Brookings: Closed through Labor Day
Arizona Beach State Recreation Site, Port Orford: Campground closed through Labor Day, day-use open with limited services
Cape Blanco State Park, Port Orford: Closed through Labor Day
Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park, Florence: Campground closed through Labor Day, beach access and trails open for limited day use
Devils Lake State Recreation Area: Campground closed through Labor Day
Beachside State Recreation Site, Waldport: Closed through July 31