We are all well aware of the financial problems that the State Department of Parks and Recreation is having with threats of widespread closures, and now sequestered funds.
I just returned from a little trip to Ventura County, where I paid $45 for a one-night stay at a coastal campsite. The attendant told me that the fees had risen from $25 in the past two years. Although I was happy to get a site, having to pay $45 did not make me very happy.
I can afford to do this once in a while, but a lot of people cannot. I think this is the most that I have ever paid for a public campsite, anywhere in the country. Charging fees like this really is a violation of the mission of the public park system, which is to provide ready and low-cost access to public lands. I hope that, when the state’s financial picture comes back into balance, these kinds of fees will be rescinded.