I just read a story, and talked to the DNR about concerning the new rules for reservations that go into affect shortly.f
Minnesota State Park campgrounds will now be 100% reservations, with no driveup sites, or later released sites. All sites will be reserveable on the rolling 1 year ahead. This means the popular parks will inaccessible to anyone who can't plan a year out, because they will be perpetually reserved a year ahead.
I haven't been able to find out exactly where all this came from, but on the surface it seems to be tilting the entire system toward folks that are really in control of when they can get time off--- a year ahead of time. There are very few working families that I know where both workers are allowed to schedule their vacation a year in in advance, and many hourly workers are lucky to get two weeks planning on hours.
I would guess that over 1/2 of the non retired people we know would not be able to work within the new system consistently, so they would never be able to go to the popular state parks, ever, even though their taxes support them.
The very nice lady I spoke to at the Park dept said they did a study, and this is the trend across the county, so those of us traveling around are likely to be shut out of a lot of places that used to have some held back, daily sites.
The best line was that I was told that they did a pilot program at some of the parks for the last couple of years, and that the public really liked the system. Of course, they took the survey in the park, with the reserved campers that had the ability to schedule ahead, and never talked to any of the other campers that couldn't get in because everything was reserved way ahead. No bias in that sample
They didn't send out any notices to park camping users either, for comment or input, ahead of time. The first we heard of it was in the newspaper.
It could be a very short time ahead that all the state parks, and probably the National parks also, will by inaccessible to those of us that don't want to schedule an entire trip, to the day, ahead of time. Of course, the parks nobody wants to go to will be available