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Archive for January, 2014

NEWS & KLPW THINGS ON TAP.

We owe an apology as one of latest posts on Facebook did not jump over on the blog.  A technology misstep.


2014 NEWS UDATE

As the new year has started off cold, note that it’s been 4 – 20 degrees lately at a very cold Kerr Lake! We’ll have an updated story on www.kerrlakeparkwatch.org about a bunch of grass carp the USACE recently put into Kerr to help with the growing hydrilla problem.

If the weather persists you may be able to get some “Carpsickles!”

Other updates coming:

• Camper wants to see volunteer program at Kerr Lake NC recreation areas. (already posted on blog)

• Update coming on the QRR and 216 water flow study by the US John H. Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island Lake), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

• Update coming from NC State Parks on Hibernia campsite rehab

• Virginia hikes camping and cabin rates for 2014 that affect two Kerr Lake Virginia State Parks.
(NOW ON KERR LAKE PARK WATCH BLOG)

Additionally, we have something for idle campers coming on the “LIGHTER SIDE.”  Check back or use the membership email box on the left so you will always get UPDATES.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Hydrilla Information, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Occoneechee State Park, KLPW - US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

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VIRGINIA HIKES STATE PARKS CAMPING RATES


CAMPING RATES HIKED FOR VA STATE PARKS – Affects rates for Occoneechee State Park and Staunton River State Park in the Virginia State Parks system.

Added only as a FAQ sheet to an 8-page “Year in Review” report by VA State Parks Director Joe Elton, the quietly announced park rate hike has already taken effect.

“Although it is not perfectly clear in the information we have seen, it looks like camping fees for 2014 will go up about 12% and the cabin rates will only increase 5%, which seems backwards to us at Kerr Lake Park Watch,” said that organization’s spokesman, Frank Timberlake.

“It’s the first we’ve heard about rate increases. Apparently, Virginia State Parks is like most other government bureaucracies, operating in a vacuum, devoid of any public interaction. We think in this economy a 12% camping fee increase is ludicrous. We can beat on our chest and holler, but it’s already done. We use both cabins and campsites at Occoneechee and I don’t understand why the rate increase hits the RV’er and camper the hardest,” added Timberlake.

“If you ask them I would expect them to respond back with a question about if we want some parks to close. That’s what government does when citizens question. Government’s totally out of step with the working people and that’s the several hundred people around Kerr we represent.”

The leadership of KLPW is considering asking the State of Virginia, specifically DCR, to provide park discounts to senior citizens and to people out of work.  That, according to Kerr Lake Park Watch is going to take some planning and lots of communications.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Occoneechee State Park, KLPW- Staunton River State Park

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IMPROVED SITES FOR HIBERNIA CLEARS FEDERAL HURDLE

A number of prime camping sites at Hibernia State Recreation Area have been approved for improvements or rehab by the US Army Corps of Engineers.  NC State Parks officials had to get Corps approval to make site changes as the federal government is actually the owner of the seven NC State Recreation areas around Kerr Lake.  According to Bryce Fleming, the Park Superintendent, layout could start soon, “The paperwork for the resource management review was completed and sent to me last week so I was able to send the whole project package to the North District Office for approval.  The project funding account should be set up as soon as the final approval goes through, which I do not anticipate will take too long.”

Those sites, though prime, have had virtually no improvements since the 1950’s except for some electric improvements and smatterings of gravel.



In its campaign to get more and larger RV and/or electric-water campsites around the lake, Kerr Lake Park Watch uses two designations to identify campsites: undefined and defined.  There’s a lot of difference as can be seen from the above photo which is an undefined campsite; typically, an open site, rough, unlevel, no upgraded fire pit, no lantern pole and most of all no real definitive layout as to where the camper fits on the site.

Conversely, the defined site is close to level with a timbered border, filled with gravel and the other components including a picnic table in an area that is also defined.



The above illustration shows the new defined site plan for the same site in the color photo above.  KLPW has worked closely with parks officials to see that these and future rehab sites, especially for RV’s, do not have too many split levels on the sites, making it difficult for a camper to fully use an awning, a picnic area and screen house or combining a tent and RV on the site.

The sites, 93 – 99, could be flagged as early as next week, according to Fleming with ground-breaking on the improvements by next month.  All of that, of course, is weather permitting.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! LET THE VOLUNTEERS COME!

Larry Matthews is a dedicated camper and has been camping at Kerr Lake most of his life.  He is also one of the strong supporters of KLPW and what park logistics that are unfamiliar to him, he makes up with good common sense.  Mr. Matthews wrote this item as a comment.  We felt that the KLPW members and readers deserved to see this most excellent idea directly on the blog.

“Did you see that Crowders Mountain park was named NC Park of the year? (http://www.wral.com/crowders-mountain-named-nc-park-of-the-year/13256185/) I found it very interesting that one of the key factors that led to Crowders Mountain park receiving the recognition was “regular volunteer work days”. Once again I’ll beat this seemingly dead horse, volunteer work days at the NC parks on Kerr Lake would help the low budgeted and understaffed park management team to do a lot of good around the lake.

NC PARKS NORTH REGION AND KERR LAKE PARK MANAGEMENT TEAM, IF YOU ARE LISTENING…..you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Simply reach out to your peers down at Crowder Mountain and use their volunteer plan as the basis for a similar plan for parks on Kerr Lake. With effective planning and communications to Kerr Lake campers, volunteer days would be a big success.”

The rest of the leadership of Kerr Lake Park Watch agrees with Mr. Matthews.  N C STATE PARKS, VIRGINIA STATE PARKS and the U S ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS need to quickly review a composite of working parks volunteer programs and institute volunteer efforts.  Then enact a volunteer effort and see what happens.

And just in case any of you PARK MANAGERS encounter any bureaucratic stumbling blocks from other government agencies, please inform us so that we can take citizen complaint and/or legal action and publicly identify those impeding agencies and personnel to remove the bureaucracy and achieve worthy public goals.


Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - Camping Safety, KLPW - Corps of Engineers Campgrounds, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Occoneechee State Park, KLPW - Similar Circumstances/Situations at other Locations, KLPW- Staunton River State Park

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