Wednesday, April 13, 2011

State Forest Campgrounds go unused

   If proposed changes from the NRC are approved, campers might see 23 fewer state forest campgrounds open.
  The decision to close these campgrounds comes about largely due to lack of use. The DNR stands to save some money during this belt-tightening economy where everything that isn't needed or is questionable is being chopped.
   It is all well and good to take a look at finances from time to time to see where and how money is being spent.
   In the case of these campgrounds though, there is a segment of the population that use them, no doubt not as much as the more modern parks with all of the nice attractions.
   There are campers who really enjoy roughing it in every sense. They select level ground, clear any obstacles from it like rocks and tree limbs, then pitch a tent.
   They cook either an open campfire or on a Coleman stove, outdoors. Toilets are of the vault or pit type. Hot water comes about from pumping water from a central camp well into a container, hauling it back to camp and heating it over a fire.
   Niceties in these campgrounds may consist of a screen room that doubles as the cooking area, maybe a camp chair and a nice, small campfire to sit by at night.
   Rustic campers in general shy away from the crowds that attract motorhomes and travel trailers with their generators, TVs, coffee makers and microwaves.
   Besides, it's a lot cheaper, even at $15 a night to camp in a state forest facility than a private or state park with all the trappings. We need every state forest campground we have, whether underused or not.
   The cost of keeping these 23 parks open isn't going to break the bank nor save enough money to make a difference.

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