Five parks to create short-term parking areas

04/28/2013 6:55 AM

04/28/2013 6:55 AM

Five state parks in western Kansas will have short-term parking created so customers can leave campers at the sites instead of hauling them home before returning the next weekend.

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism commissioners voted to create the fenced parking areas at Thursday’s meeting in the Great Plains Nature Center. Parks receiving the parking areas are Glen Elder, Meade, Kanopolis, Scott and Webster.

Mike Miller, public information officer for Wildlife and Parks, said the areas were created for parks where there are not private vendors offering the same service. Cost for parking will be $50 a month.

Commissioners also were involved in a lengthy discussion about a proposal to prohibit vehicles and two-way radios in hunting coyotes during Kansas’ 12-day firearms deer season.

Coyotes are one of few Kansas animals that can legally be shot while the shooter is within a vehicle. It’s illegal to use an electronic device to tell the location of most animals. Unlike with deer, it’s legal to pursue coyotes with vehicles all year in Kansas.

Some game wardens have said people use the aides to hunt deer, then claim they’re hunting coyotes if stopped by law enforcement. But the proposal brought many coyote hunters to the meeting.

“There were a number of coyote hunters who showed up to speak and felt they were being punished, and they said that in comments to the commission,” Miller said.

Miller said commissioners didn’t want the perception of punishing coyote hunters and may decide not to vote on the proposal at the June 27 meeting in Garden City, instead looking for a compromise or alternate solution.

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