Montana Moves to Save Some Campsites from Filling Up
By Randall Brink , RV Travel
The 68th Session of the Montana State Legislature has been considering a bill to limit campsite reservations in state campgrounds to 80 percent of capacity.
Representative Steve Gunderson of Libby, MT, introduced “An Act Creating Limits on the Number of Reserved Campsites in State Parks, Recreational Areas, and Public Camping Grounds” in the state House of Representatives on February 7, 2023. Since then, the House has moved the measure through the Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Committee and referred the bill to the state Senate on February 27.
The pending statute partially reads, “No more than 80% of all available campsites may be reserved in a state park, recreational area, or public camping ground with overnight camping.”
The measure comes in response to Montana residents’ complaints that the state’s campgrounds are so popular and typically host so many out-of-state RVers and campers that they cannot get a campsite without a reservation on short notice.
The legislation also addresses the issue of campsite no-shows holding reservations.
“For a multiple-day reservation, if the party fails to arrive at and claim the reserved campsite by 10:00 A.M. on the second day of the reservation, the reservation is canceled, and the campsite may be filled for the duration of the reservation on a first-come, first-served basis.”
The bill’s author, Rep. Gunderson, said, “One of the problems is Glacier National Park has become popular. It’s so packed with out-of-state visitors, the park is limiting traffic on the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, and those tourists are spilling onto state lands and taking up reservations at state parks.” He said it’s nearly impossible for locals to get spots.
Montana is not the only state to enact legislation or policies limiting or discouraging non-resident use of its campgrounds and parks.
Neighboring Idaho has imposed a doubling of campground fees for non-residents at five state parks, including Bear Lake, Farragut, Hells Gate, Priest Lake, and Round lake.
On June 9, 2021, Idaho State Parks announced, “Camping and entry fees for non-Idaho residents will double at select Idaho State Parks on Thursday to comply with a new state law.”
Camping fees for non-Idaho residents at the parks are double what Idaho residents pay. A basic campsite at those parks is $24 for residents but will cost $48 for a night for non-residents. A site with full hookups will cost $64 for a non-Idaho resident, double the $32 for a resident of Idaho.
Several states nationwide, from Maine to Oregon, have implemented similar pricing for their campgrounds.
RV Travel wants to know what readers think of these non-resident pricing policies for public campgrounds.
Courtesy of rvtravel.com – Visit www.rvtravel.com for more
Average Price of Diesel to Drop Below Year-Ago Level; First Time in 760 Days Deflation hits diesel dispensers, most common U.S. price for diesel now $3.99 per gallon
For the first time in over two years, average diesel prices in the U.S. today will fall below their year-ago levels according to GasBuddy, the leading fuel savings platform saving North American drivers the most money on fuel.
Diesel prices have declined nearly $1.50 per gallon since reaching record-levels last spring and now stand at an average of $4.35 per gallon, the lowest level since the days immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Diesel’s decline has been astounding – we’ve seen improvements in fundamentals over the last few months with diesel prices down nearly $1 per gallon in the last 100 days, thanks in part due to the Fed raising interest rates, throttling back the economy, as well as Mother Nature reducing consumption through a mild winter and curbing consumption of diesel’s cousin, heating oil,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
“Coming out of winter, we’ll continue to see diesel prices decline. Barring an unexpected disruption or escalation in global events, diesel prices this summer could be $2 per gallon lower than last summer, which is certainly good news for the economy and transportation sectors stung by the previous high costs of diesel fuel.”
Diesel by the numbers:
- 7 states where diesel prices average below $4 per gallon: OK, TX, KS, WI, MO, IA, AR
- Most common diesel prices in the U.S., in order: $3.99, $4.09, $3.89, $4.29, $4.19
- $3.62/gal: the average of the lowest priced 10% of stations in the U.S.
- $5.82/gal: the peak in the national average price of diesel hit in 2022
- 78 cents:
The amount of decline to average diesel prices in the last 90 days According to GasBuddy, retail diesel prices are likely to continue falling as demand continues to ease and winter heating oil consumption declines.
As long as central banks continue to raise interest rates to cool off previously overheated economies, there will be continued downward pressure through most of the spring and summer, even as gasoline prices are likely to rise during that timeframe.
GasBuddy covers this topic in episode 3 of its podcast “Over a Barrel” here: bit.ly/overabarrelshow Submitted by GasBuddy
Courtesy of Gas Buddy