A bill in California aims to make it easier to reserve campsites in state parks
Demand for campsites at California’s state parks or beaches has surged, and with it late cancellations and no-shows. A state lawmaker wants to overhaul the reservation system.
“Unfortunately, our current outdated reservation system has led to a situation where many campsites are left empty. By promoting responsible reservation practices, we can increase access to these vital resources,” Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda, said in a statement.
Bauer-Kahan, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife, has introduced Assembly Bill 618, which requires the California Department of Parks and Recreation to tighten up campsite registrations. Campers would be encouraged to cancel at least seven days before arrival, and no-shows would forfeit their entire reservation fee. The measure would also bar consistent no-shows from being able to make reservations.
According to the lawmaker’s office, more than 6.5 million camp in California parks each year, the highest demand ever.
“Popular sites are often booked up within minutes, right at 8 a.m., months in advance,” said the assemblywoman’s statement. This leads families to struggle with planning trips into the outdoors.
There is currently no penalty for no-shows.
Lawmakers will take up the bill this spring.
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