PORTLAND - Oregon parks officials say some campers are playing the reservation system to get good campsites at busy times, taking advantage of state rules that allow them to book 14 days of camping time nine months in advance.
The ploy: Figure nine months back from a popular camping time, say Memorial Day weekend. Then figure 14 more days back and, on that day, book the two weeks leading up to Memorial Day. Later, cancel most of the 14 days and go camping just for the holiday weekend.
Parks and Recreation Department officials say people who try to book sites nine months out often are surprised and disappointed that sites aren't available. And, they say, the canceled campsites can go unused, costing the parks money.
The solution: Require campers to pay for all the booking and rental fees in advance for all the days they reserve. The rules now require a $6 booking fee and the first night's fee as a deposit.
Department officials say other states have had a similar problem and used a similar solution to good effect.
Public hearings are scheduled April 16 at Champoeg State Heritage Area, April 21 in Newport and April 23 in Bend. Comments can be sent through the .