OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Sen. George Burns, R-Pollard, has filed three pieces of legislation related to Oklahoma’s state parks and their operations.
If Senate Bill 673 passes, entrance fees could only be charged for travel trailers and recreational vehicles and could not exceed $8.
“The needs of our state parks and the people visiting them are always changing,” Burns said. “Reducing costs will encourage more visitors, and the fees that are charged will go directly back to that park for upkeep and improvements.”
Those fees would be used by the state parks where they are collected.
“This attraction hasn’t been classified as a state park for the last decade, and local economies have been negatively impacted over time,” Burns said. “Transferring this park back to the Tourism and Recreation Department would open the door to more funding for this scenic recreation area and allow for modernization.”
Hugo Lake Park has been run by LIFT Community Action Agency since 2002.
SB 3 would require the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission to get legislative approval if it decides to cancel or not renew a lease for state park property or any other action that would result in the loss or change of ownership of a state park.
“As we have seen with the Hugo Lake Park, changing ownership of a state park is not always the best solution. If this issue arises again in the future, this measure would require the Legislature to decide whether to renew the lease. This bill ensures legislators can better support what is best for the citizens they serve and what’s best for the state’s tourism and recreation industry,” Burns said.
These measures can be heard when the legislative session convenes on Feb. 6.