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State Seeking Comments On Camping Ban On Islands In Willamette

Department of State Lands

The Oregon Department of State Lands is seeking public input this month on whether to ban camping on the islands of the Willamette River in Eugene.

The city of Eugene used to ban camping on a series of small islands in the Willamette River. But last year, officials realized those islands are technically state property and don’t belong to the city. That means camping there is legal unless the Department of State Lands deems otherwise.

That agency says garbage and human waste is building up on those islands and earlier this year put an emergency restriction into place that bans overnight camping, as well as campfires at any time.

Now, the agency is gathering public comment until the end of October on whether to make the ban permanent. Comments can be submitted online or at a public hearing in Eugene on October 16. The hearing will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Eugene Parks and Open Space Division, 1820 Roosevelt Blvd in Eugene.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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