Revenue decline affects your parks

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Jun 15, 2020

Donate We’re facing months, even years, of critical challenges due to the economic fallout from COVID-19. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department faces a decline in our main revenue sources – Lottery Fund and park visitors – that requires us to reduce services and lay off staff to fill an estimated $22 million gap in our July 2019-June 2021 budget. 

Our budget is funded by

  • 44% Lottery Fund dedicated by Oregon voters in 1999 and 2010;
  • 50% “Other Fund” from park visitors;
  • a portion of recreational vehicle registrations, and other sources;
  • 6% Federal Fund, mainly for Oregon Heritage Division programs.

The projected Lottery Fund allocation is down 30% from pre-coronavirus estimates. We do not receive state General Fund tax dollars to operate any service, including our popular, heavily visited Oregon State Park system. The state park system was closed for two months, and now offers limited services to campers.

When it became clear in spring that revenues were going to be unstable, we froze hiring, curtailed discretionary spending, and suspended large improvement and repair projects and other programs such as grants.

We also made the decision to:

  • hire only 77 seasonal staff of the 415 positions allotted for state park field operations. Some seasonal staff may be hired on a case-by-case basis to flesh out the current skeleton crew.
  • lay off 47 positions in other areas of the department by June 30. The number of positions laid off could change.

Your state park experience is different and you will not see the same level of service you’ve come to expect from us, including:

  • fewer open restrooms and less upkeep to open facilities.
  • closed showers in many campgrounds.
  • reduced trash collection.
  • reduced landscape maintenance and cleanup.
  • closures of some parks and campgrounds for the summer. Other campgrounds may have a single loop open.
  • no walk-in or first-come, first-served campers at coastal parks, including hiker/biker areas.

You can help us by treating park properties gently, using as little water and power as necessary, and packing out trash. We also have set up a Donate option for those who wish to help with operating expenses. With support from Oregonians, the agency will rise to this challenge and adapt.

Some parks are open for day-use and camping, with reduced services. Check the Park Status Map and FAQ for details. Campfire restrictions may be in place.