Boat-ramp parking pass acceptance now legit

For more than 20 years, upper Rogue River boaters needed to buy only a state or Jackson County parks pass to access all five boat ramps in this stretch, whether they are owned by the state or county.

On Wednesday, that informal arrangement became legal.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Jackson County signed an agreement to honor each other's parking passes at the upper Rogue boat ramps after years of doing so without any formal agreement in place.

"It's the right thing to do for our customers," says Perry Salvestrin, state parks manager here.

The affected ramps are TouVelle State Park, and the county-owned ramps at Dodge Bridge, Takelma, Shady Cove and Rogue Elk.

The county park pass for those ramps costs $30 annually, while the state parking pass costs $30 for one year and $50 for two years.

The only other differences are that the state pass also is honored at other state parks across Oregon, and the county pass is good for a calendar year, while the state one begins in the month it is purchased.

Salvestrin says the county and state entered into a similar agreement in the mid-1990s as a pilot project, and that agreement expired without anyone noticing. A regional parks manager, however, did notice recently, and that began the process for the two entities to re-enter their agreement, Salvestrin says.

Rogue Recreation campgrounds to open

Four campgrounds on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest are open today by the private concessionaire that plans to have a combination of first-come, first-served campsites and sites that can be reserved.

Rogue Recreation will open Doe Point and Fish Lake campgrounds at Fish Lake today, as well as Union Creek and Farewell Bend campgrounds near Union Creek.

The company plans to open Abbott Creek, Fourbit Ford, North Fork and Whiskey Springs campgrounds May 13.

Rogue Recreation plans to have about two-thirds of its campsites under the reservation system and the remaining for walk-up and drive-up campers.

Reservations can be made now for Doe Point, Farewell Bend, Fish Lake, North Fork and Union Creek campgrounds through Recreation.gov or by calling 877-­444-­6777.​

Reservations at Fourbit Ford and Whiskey Springs campgrounds are scheduled to come online in early summer. Abbott Creek will remain first-come, first-served.

Rogue Recreation again is planning a free summer music series at the Union Creek Amphitheater and the Fish Lake Historic Shelter.

YOH Day set for May 14 at Denman

The Rogue Valley's younger outdoors enthusiasts will have a chance to test-drive a variety of outdoor activities, including hunting and fishing, during a free Saturday event May 14 at Denman Wildlife Area.

Young Oregon Hunters Day will give youth 5 to 16 a chance to try such activities as trout fishing, tomahawk throwing, shotgun and archery shooting, laser shooting and learn to identify animal species by their pelts.

The 15th annual event, often referred to as YOH Day, will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Denman, 1495 E. Gregory Road in White City. Parental consent and chaperons are required.

Food and beverages will be available, and a free raffle drawing will occur.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.

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