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Utilities at park campsites may go up

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, at 11:03 p.m.

Campers in Kansas state parks could be paying more for the use of campsites with utilities this year. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism commission will vote Thursday whether to increase the rates of gas, water and/or electricity by $1.50 per day.

Mike Miller, Wildlife and Parks information chief, said the department is requesting the increase to offset higher prices they’re paying for the utilities. Miller said the increase would be $1.50 no matter if one, two or all three utilities are used. That means the rate for using all three utilities would increase from $10.50 to $12 per day.

The commission will also vote on an agency request to increase the amounts paid for utilities with montly camping permits by $30.50. At most state parks the new rate would be $390.50 for all utilities for a month-long stay.

If approved, Miller said the increases will probably begin in about one month.

Also at the meeting the commission will be asked to approve some changes to Kansas turkey seasons.

The most notable would be changing the opening day of the general spring turkey season to the Wednesday after the second Saturday in April. For many years the season has opened the second Wednesday of April, while archery and youth season opened April 1.

At previous meetings, Wildlife and Parks turkey biologist Jim Pitman said he preferred to have a full weekend open to just youth hunting. He has proposed the youth season still open April 1 and the archery season open the Monday after the first Saturday of April. Pitman said some years the change would decrease the Kansas general season, which will still end May 31, by one week.

If approved, the spring turkey regulations will begin in 2015.

The commission will also be asked to approve decreasing the fall turkey limit from four to one bird across much of central and eastern Kansas. Pitman said fall hunting could be having a detrimental impact on the population.

Thursday’s meeting will be held at Wroten Hall at Winfield’s Southwestern College with sessions beginning at 1 and 6 p.m. Public comment is welcome at both sessions. The meeting will be shown online at www.kdwpt.state.ks.us.

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