Valley Campers Ask Boccieri For Help To Protect Seasonal Camping
ODNR reverses long-term camping decision after hearing from public
October 28, 2016
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State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed relief that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently reversed its decision to limit seasonal camping in state parks. Boccieri’s office passed along concerns from Valley campers in September after hearing that the agency was intending to limit camping in Ohio’s state parks to two-week stints. On Wednesday, the agency finally released a memo* announcing an expanded seasonal camping program for 2017.

“I asked ODNR to weigh the different concerns of campers who wish to hold their sites open for long periods of time during seasonal camping,” said Boccieri. “It’s a good outcome for the many Ohio families and citizens who cherish our state parks.”

Campers who raised concerns about the inability to leave their camps in place long-term focused on the logistical struggles of moving their sites and belongings to and from their home every two weeks. Such frequent moving would pose a challenge particularly to disabled veterans, who make up a significant portion of seasonal campers.

Testimonials passed along to Rep. Boccieri also revealed that seasonal campers feel an affinity to their sites and thus would be more likely to contribute to upkeep of the grounds and report suspicious activity compared to less frequent visitors. Seasonal campers can also contribute thousands of dollars to local economies every year; the constituent who reached out to Rep. Boccieri’s office reported that her family spent up to $4,000 just camping on weekends during the summer last year.

ODNR announced in its memo this week that camping sites will be awarded and assigned based on a lottery system this year for the first time in order to ensure fairness. 

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