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Hearings set on updated rules for state parks

Published On: Jun 12 2013 01:29:42 PM CDT
SALEM, Ore. -

More than 40 million people visit Oregon's state parks every year to enjoy camping, hiking, picnicking and other traditional recreation with friends and family. Park rules help visitors enjoy parks as they protect park resources and reduce conflicts between people.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is updating park rules to keep them current, and is taking public comments on the proposed changes.

These proposed changes to Oregon Administrative Rule 736-010 do not represent a major departure from the current rules, but they will clarify the intent, and make the park rules consistent with other department rules and state statues. Some of the proposed changes would ...

1. Explicitly makes breaking most rules a class D violation, rather than the class A. This change brings park rules in compliance with recent changes in the "SCHEDULE OF FINES" prepared by the Office of State Court Administrator, Oregon Judicial Department. The rules also specify which violations may warrant higher or lower-level fines.

2. Establish reasonable standards for controlling behavior of domestic animals when on park property.

3. Clarify allowable visitor activities regarding length of stay in campgrounds, open periods for day use areas, areas where motorized vehicles may be used in parks and fire safety in the parks.

4. Clarify what unusual park activities may need special permits, and what the process is for obtaining a permit.

5. Adopt reasonable standards for natural resource removal to ensure resources remain available for everyone's enjoyment.

6. Prohibit hunting on several Willamette River Greenway properties due to safety concerns resulting from nearby residential development.

Copies of the proposed rules may be found on the OPRD website http://tinyurl.com/Division10Rules and are available upon request from OPRD.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is conducting public hearings across the state, seeking public comments on the proposed changes to these rules.

Upcoming hearing dates and locations: (All hearings begin at 6:30 PM.)

* Newport: June 18, 2013 - Newport Public Library, 35 NW Nye Street, Newport OR 97365
* St. Paul: June 19, 2013 - Champoeg State Heritage Area, Visitor Center, 8239 Champoeg Road NE, St. Paul OR 97137
* Bend: June 20, 2013 - Holiday Inn Express, 20615 Grandview Drive, Bend OR 97701

The deadline for accepting written comments is June 21, 2013 at 5:00 PM.  Comments may be submitted to OPRD.publiccomment@state.or.us or mailed to Richard Walkoski, 725 Summer Street NE, Suite C, Salem, OR 97301.

Those wishing to comment during a public hearing must register with the hearings officer in the first 30 minutes of the meeting. Accommodations for persons with disabilities are available if requested in advance by calling (503) 986-0719.

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