Paddling away on Wallowa Lake

Paddlers set to embark on Wallowa Lake in August 2020. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is seeking the public's input on its proposal to change reservation time windows and cancellation fees. Wallowa Lake State Park is one of Northeast Oregon's state camping sites that would be affected by reservation changes.

SALEM — The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is seeking the public’s input on proposals to change reservations for state parks.

The state in March closed all its parks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and reopened them in phases, with many campgrounds reopening in June, according to a press release from the department.

In Northeast Oregon, state parks include Wallowa Lake, Emigrant Springs, Catherine Creek, Farewell Bend, Clyde Holliday and Unity Lake.

The department’s proposal includes a range of zero to $15 for transaction fees to make, change or cancel a reservation.

That charge now is $8 for each reservation.

The proposal also would add flexibility to the reservation window, allowing the agency to vary the window from same-day reservations up to 18 months in advance for specific camping sites.

“The current reservation window is 30 days, a response to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19,” according to the department. “This is a temporary change from the typical nine month reservation window.”

OPRD is accepting public comments on its proposal until 5 p.m. Jan. 15, 2021. State parks also set a virtual public hearing for 6 p.m. Jan. 7, 2021.

For more information or to comment, visit the state parks website at and click on the link “Comment on Proposed Rulemaking.”

State parks staff plan to present a final rule recommendation to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission at its meeting in February 2021.

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