Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan Introduces Legislation to Improve Access to Campsites
- Sarah Goodman
Sacramento, CA –Chair of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan has introduced AB 618, which will increase access to California's public parks and beaches by promoting responsible reservation practices.
"California's public parks and beaches are treasures that should be enjoyed by all Californians and demand for them has increased greatly," said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan. "Unfortunately, our current outdated reservation system has led to a situation where many campsites are left empty. By promoting responsible reservation practices, we can increase access to these vital resources."
With more than 6.5 million visitors camping in California parks each year, demand has never been higher. Popular sites are often booked up within minutes, right at 8 AM, months in advance. Families often struggle to plan trips into the outdoors. There is currently no penalty for unused reservations so when campers don’t show up, those valuable spots go unused.
AB 618 requires State Parks to adopt modifications to the online camping registration system to deter late cancellations and no-shows. This includes encouraging cancellations at least seven days before the start of a reservation, sending reminder emails to encourage early cancellation, requiring forfeiture of the entire reservation fee for no-shows, and implementing protections to prevent consistent no-shows from making reservations.
"I am committed to ensuring that all Californians have equal access to our state's natural resources, and AB 618 is an important step towards achieving that goal," said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan.