Florida residents will now have priority when reserving time in state parks following the signing of HB 109 by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The legislation was introduced in response to complaints that third parties were taking up reservations that were made available by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The bill received unanimous support in both chambers of the Legislature.
Under the new law, the DEP’s Division of Recreation and Parks will open reservations exclusively for Florida residents 11 months in advance, while non-residents will be allowed to reserve only ten months ahead. This applies to cabins, campsites, and various recreational sites.
To book a campsite more than ten months in advance, individuals must provide a valid Florida driver’s license or identification number. The bill’s passage has been welcomed by the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds and the Florida Recreational Vehicle Trade Association.
The bill goes into effect January 1, 2024.
With approximately 32 million people visiting Florida’s state parks in the 2021-22 fiscal year, the outdoor recreation industry is a significant contributor to the state’s economy. By prioritizing local Florida residents in state park reservations, the new legislation aims to encourage Florida residents to enjoy the state’s natural resources and supports the industry’s growth.
We need this in Arizona!!
my guess is that this isnt something that is going to help residents and they will still complain. you just have to jump thru the hoops and plan better and have to be online when the auction starts! there is no such thing as planning for the upcoming weekend. you have to long term plan. so i think most of the ones complaining are the ones that just refuse to plan. no bill is going to help them.
Isn’t anyone concerned this will eventually lead to you’re being able to find a desireable site in your home state only? As other states pass similiar laws, the only reservation you ‘ll get will be in your state. Seems an easy political yes as Florida passed it unanimously. Won’t this drop interest in RVng? Isn’t the RV industry lobbying against this?
I’d like to see my state pass a law lengthening the reservation window for any Florida resident ans any other state with similiar rules.
The answer to your first question… no…. second…no and third…no
Florida should do what ever they think is necessary to protect their citizens. For those that think we non natives are abusing the system, they can think what they want. Florida parks system has a bigger issue with bots gobbling up reservations before the out of staters can even push enter on the computer. Staying at private parks is equally difficult, the waiting list could be a lifetime, minimum stays of 3 months and sometimes 6 months is not attractive to many that would stay maybe a month. Private parks along the coast lines, especially the Gulf coast can cost $2,000 +/- a month with a discount for 3 months. These are a few reasons I reluctantly say goodbye to Florida.
Officially gave up on Florida after this past winter, too hard to get reservations, way too crowded and expensive for what you get, also tired of coughing from the red tide.
As the Floridian we pay taxes and spend our money in Florida communities all year long. It’s not OK that we are unable to get a campsite in our own state. This legislation should have been passed a long time ago. And by the way your trash goes in a trash dempster not on the ground.
I suggest all snowbirds boycott Florida until this changes. We couldn’t get a site for a weekend anyway. I wonder how many millions of tourist dollars they will lose. We spend about $30,000 USD a season in Florida. Bye bye, I’ll take my money elsewhere!
Please do Caren….there are plenty more people behind you that are still coming to Florida!
Sounds like an opening to me.
I guess I asked for these comments, no hard feelings. Good luck! Travel safe and treat others like you want to be treated!
It’s always the rude people that end with a comment saying treat others the way you want to be treated. You should change the spelling of your name to Karen.
WOW, talk about rude. Have a fantastic day Lorrie!
We go to Oregon State Parks every year, best in the country. Most of the time we don’t even book a camp site since the volunteers who run the campgrounds resell no show, canceled sites at the end of the day, after 4pm. Get with it Florida.
Sounds like a good solution to the problem.
And Oregon charges non residents more than residents. So maybe Florida should do that also.
Who monitors this discussion can you all stop with the political junk. I live in Florida and I am not a fan of the dictatorship but this is not the place to discuss . St George Island has just been voted “best beach in the country” and is the closest state park with camping to our home. We have not been able to camp there for years. Every time we go for the day there are empty camp sites at sundown. We are told “well they are no shows but they have all ready paid”. This is what needs to be fixed.Further up the road there was a beautiful state park camping that has been closed for years. Another state park nearby is avoided by locals due to constant ear splitting noise from sight seeing helicopters These North Florida Counties are poor & totally dependent on tourist dollars. Every visitor should be welcomed The park on the mainland across from St George non refundable $365 for 3 night. This is atrocious, I would not like to see this policy in the states we migrate to in summer.
I’m not certain what politics your talking about. It looks like your legislature listened to campers like you and passed legislation for DeSantis to sign that is intended to help resolve the exact problem you are talking about. It is an RV/camping/state park article that involved Florida’s legislature and the Gov doing something positive.
It’s nice to read a piece that involves a positive reaction from govt to address an observed and lived problem. Several states are working from thr same playbook. It’s a good thing. 👍😀
The day dawned with several completely off-topic posts about politics. Perhaps the poster saw those, and they were removed before you checked in.
Someone did bring Disney into it. As unpolitical as I am trying to be THIS WEEKEND, I just had to reply. How did Disney come into it on campground legislation to help campers? Oh well, have a great weekend Wanderer.
Solving this problem can be done in much more creative ways such as investing money made on tourism into tourism infrastructure such as state parks camping rather than making it harder for tourist to camp in our state parks. Follow other state’s by penalizing no shows & freeing up spots from no shows. There will be a domino effect due to this legislation because it is a quick “fix”. We have also seen a huge increase in fees at exclusive corporate campgrounds in Florida. So who profts? I am thinking of the family wanting to bring their kids to Florida for Spring break or a mid winter break for seniors. How many will have to forgo their Florida get away because they cannot find affordable camping in our parks no matter the effort. Our state depends on tourism. Florida is a very populated state. I suspect the competition for every campsite will be only slightly better for a month. In the meantime Florida department of tourism (888) 735-2872. or (850) 488-5607. visitflorida.org Governor (850) 717-9337 Our legislatures are only his minions.
It is so nice to read a pragmatic post with clear perspective for improvements. Thank you.
I may disagree with you on some of your foundation but I sure do appreciate your clear thoughts. Kind of like the old days when solutions were the common goal. Life doesn’t have to be a zero sum game.
Shouldn’t the Florida legislature solve the problem and enable others to rent a spot if someone doesn’t check in or call the park by 6 pm? Giving Florida residents priority doesn’t solve the no-show problem.
“The dictatorship”? Wow, exaggerate much?
Not to be confused with a dictatorship that would impose Vaccine mandates, useless mask mandates, censorship of free speech, weaponize a federal police service, close schools, kill elderly, demonize desent, hide truths, use CIA lies for domestic political power, create unnecessary pain on its people. Just to name a few things.
So many statements – and all false, as usual.
Which one or ones? Inform me. Correct me. Point out my specific mistake. Where did I get it wrong?
Just another blanket denial from the $6mm lib. Never specifics, just child like anxiety from the lack of rainbow colored political correctness, instead of truthful correctness (or corrections).
I don’t blame Florida or any other state that enacts the same type of legislation. I’m sure you will see a piggyback response from many other highly tourist states.
Florida is NOT the first in implementing this type of policy.
Heck some states are charging non residents more than residents. Maybe Florida should start doing this also.
My only response is that every other state’s park department should put Florida residents at the end of their list. “Sorry… we’re helping residents of other states at the moment…if you’d like to continue to hold you will be helped when we run out of reservations.”
Yep, that might help put the united back in United States.
Florida is not the first state to give priority to its residents for use of State Parks.
Some states are charging non residents more than residents. Maybe Florida should start doing this also.
Now the Florida Governor is playing with Disney. Trying to mandate what they can and cannot do, and wanting to regulate Disney’s operations.
That came back to bite him. Disney decided not to invest billions of dollars to increase their footprint and create thousands of jobs in Florida which would have added $$$ to the tax base and income of residents. I wonder how many Floridians actually visit Disney World. It’s probably the biggest money making attraction in the state for tourists.
I am not saying it’s fair to exclude residents from making early reservations, but these are not the ones that fill the states coffers.
So you believe it’s OK for Disney to be its own City? It’s about time they played by the same rules as their competition without regard of their West coast values. Also they have severely reduced the Florida resident benefits that used to be provided.
Yes considering the amount of tax revenue they generate for the state and the number of jobs they provide. Who cares if they self govern.
Except they dove face first into a brickwall by becoming political. They felt untouchable, they felt woke, they felt like DEI was the future for shareholders. Turns out it was not.
Personally, I thought it was a good thing they had going and they should have just stayed the “happiest place on Earth” instead of openly trashing 50% of their customer base and a legislative bill that had nothing to do with Mickey Mouse. They just couldn’t just stay in their own lane in a WOKE world and dove face first into politics. The Alec Baldwin of corporate misfires.
“To everyone with their heads in the sand.” Sexual gender one way or the other is not going to go away. What is engrained in a persons mind and there beliefs is their business and is here to stay. Because one person says no it is his way or no way. He is forcing it down everyone’s throats. Instead of staying silent he is dividing people for his own gain. Yes Disney with it’s self governing policy operated under the letter of the law, taxes were paid people employed and how many spin off jobs do they created? Government only spends money they never make money. I don’t blame Disney for standing up I blame the action taken against them. I hope the Mouse in the house has more tricks up it’s sleeve and bigger teeth.
Budlight ring a bell? The mouse should have stayed in his house. He came out and got stomped. The whole mess for both sides was avoidable. Just cuz you can take a position as a corporation, should you? That’s where I am on it. Budlight sales down 26%. Disney stock tumbling. Corporations need to stay in their lanes. They need to stay out of the DEI conversations. If the gained customers were equal to the lost customer then maybe but a 26% drop in Budlight sales and a half dozen apologies are not repairing the damage yet. BLACKROCK forces Corporations to do dumb things. Policy through extortion.
Why do you hate women? Why do you cancel women?
Why are you so hurt that Bud Light supported someone who was trans?
Because I own stock. Why are you so vested in canceling women? How is the marginalization of women a good thing?
Sell beer dummies, not DEI.
Since “woke” means informed and tolerant to reasonable people, then yes, they’re “woke.” Maybe ask yourself why other people’s sexual preferences or preferred gender identity matters to you? Personally, I agree with Disney that they should take their investments, and the potential economic benefits, elsewhere. The tourists will undoubtedly follow.
WOKE is the polar opposite of tolerance. A 180. WOKE is about conformity. Agree or be canceled, that’s WOKE.
Why are you for canceling women? I am for protecting woman’s rights. People’s Gender or sexuality makes no difference to me at all. It appears to matter to you tho. Ask yourself why it is so important to YOU that others must say outloud men can get pregnant. If as you say, WOKE means “tolerance, and Informed” why are the WOKE so militant in forcing others to agree. You force others to agree with untruths and are intolerant if they don’t. Your dreaming if you think WOKE is tolerance. Is it Opposites Day everyday for you?
I have no issue with another’s Gender Identity, as long as they are an adult. No issue with anyone’s sexuality or preference. I do have an issue with being forced to say untruths, like men can get pregnant. Sure they can, and menstruate and breast feed.
You conflate the issues. Men can pretend to be a woman, they cannot be a woman. I am not the science denier. Believing men cannot get pregnant does not make me a homophobe. If I believe men that identify as a woman should not be allowed to beat the heck out of women in sports, does not make me transphobic. It makes me a feminist.
Yet another post that is utter nonsense.
Again, the one line NO. Everyone knows it, some won’t say it. Never a specific correction. You are such a Karen.
The Real WOKE: Forcing people to agree with untruths is not tolerance. You even know it but your in so deep that your unwilling to exist in reality. Men are not women. Hello, knock knock, anyone home…. biology, XX and XY. Obviously you failed 11th grade biology or something.
Saying something doesn’t make it so. It’s science. Your a denier. Nah nah nah nah nah nahhh. Science denier. Look everyone, a Neanderthal denying science. Put him in a museum.
Go put on a looser fitting bra, have cosmo and relax. It will be OK. WOKE is the opposite of tolerance. Why do you hate women? No one cares if men dress up as women. It doesn’t matter to anyone, no one cares. It does not make them a woman though. It makes them men dressed as women. Leah Thomas is not a woman. They/them is a man pretending to be a woman because they wanted to be #1 instead of #573 at swimming. It’s a con. Follow thems/theys money and woke endorsements. I stand with women. The ones that produce eggs.
Absolutely. It is (was) one of the best-managed municipalities in Florida.
They had a good thing going. The State had a good thing going. They should have stayed focused on the mouse house not the govs house.
FYI, there are over 1,700 special tax districts in Florida, for example, the Daytona Speedway is, as you put it, “its own city.” Fred, it’s obvious you are unaware of what is going on in Florida. If you don’t believe what I just stated, then Google it. If the State is going to take away this status from Disney because the corporation exercised its right of free speech, then every other special taxing district should be stripped of its special status. Or do you believe that these special tax districts should be treated differently?
Hey Carl 👍, its awful what happened and both sides need to take a beat or 2. A couple employees of Disney drove Disney into this ditch on this and Disney chose to enter the fray and by taking a position. It made national news and drove Gov. D.S. to push back on the wokeness. In turn, it forced DeSantis. All over lies about a bill Re: “don’t say gay”.
The word gay does not appear anywhere in the bill. Not a single time, but again the intolerant wokesters had to tell a lie to get attention and boom, here we are. The blame falls squarely on the woke. Disney should have not entered the political fray.
Everyone needs to chill. Disney needs to stay in the mouse business. If they do, Gov. D.S. needs to let them do business as usual.
It will be all good until they see a drop in tourism dollars!
I can understand giving Florida residents a month jump on camping reservations. I get discouraged sometimes trying to reserve a campsite in a certain Pa State park. Especially when I’m trying to reserve the site the minute it’s available. Than when I’m lucky enough to get one or I go there for a ride. I see mostly out of state license plates on the vehicles in the campsites.
Unless a given state’s parks are funded solely by the taxes paid by the residents of that state, then shouldn’t everyone have the same reservation and access privileges?
Coming to a state near you; hurray
Run, Ron, run.
Yes! To another country. Let’s keep our free speech vs police state.
Exactly. Peace and prosperity are way over rated. Low inflation would suck. Cheaper gas awful. Common sence is silly.
Darn that Ron DeSantis. How dare he listen to Florida residents and put them first in line for the State Parks they pay for and keep clean. A dastardly move that definitely shows he is a pure partisan that is only interested in improving Floridians lives. If he remains unwilling to make Floridian’s lives worse he should be impeached for not adopting the Misery First policies of WOKE.
Yes, yes, yes. How dare the State of Florida allow its residents the first crack at securing a campsite over non-residents in its State Parks. Guess that means some snowbirds will have to bite the bullet and nest in private parks at a higher cost than the State Parks. This could be the beginning of the end of the abusive rotating through State Parks all winter long, staying at some parks 3 or 4 times. These parks were never intended to be the winter home of non-residents. And honestly, many States are beginning to prioritize their own residents, so Florida is not the only mean, grossly unfair State to adopt a resident friendly policy.
I do understand prioritizing FL residents. That is the Governor’s job after all. Many of us can’t afford those high priced private parks though Carl. I know, that’s not your problem. We have enjoyed our 3 – 4 week visits to Florida during the winter over some 40 years. We have always treasured camping in Florida State Parks. From now on, we’ll just go elsewhere. We’ll miss Florida, but there are many other great options available to RV’ers. That’s why we bought a motorhome instead of a beach house. And yes, I know, you’ll all be happy to see us go. It is what it is. No point in beating it to death anymore.
You will still be able to use state parks, but FL residents get first choice at reservations. I’ll bet there will be plenty of sites still available, the old saying the squeaky wheel gets the oil will be proficient in this case. Most residents will remain in their condos where it’s much more comfortable than a RV and less “state birds” mosquitoes.
With all due respect, I WILL NOT be rejoicing over anyone “going,” i.e., not coming to Florida. If you spend 3-4 weeks in Florida each year and do it in State Parks that have a maximum of a 14 day stay, that means you are likely camping in two State Parks. The bill giving Florida residents the first chance at booking campsites results from bots grabbing as many campsites (for resale) the moment they become available, and non-residents who abuse the use of State Park campgrounds by making several reservations 11 months in advance, some even at the same park using different names. Others leave for a day, go to a Walmart etc., and come back for another 14 days. As I stated earlier, that is not how State Parks were meant to be used. What happens is that working Florida families that want to camp a weekend here or there are locked out by snowbirds who abuse and/or “play” the system. If you are unhappy with the new policy, then do not blame me or accuse me of being happy about non-residents having a more difficult time to get reservations or having to settle for the left-overs (I honestly and sincerely do not believe availability for non-residents is going to change that much). Blame the abusers and cheaters who created the problem resulting in this policy in the first place. And as an afterthought, I find it difficult to believe that anyone who can afford a motor home, the fuel it takes to travel, and the insurance cannot afford a few extra dollars per night to stay in private campgrounds, especially those with seasonal rates.
Have you researched many of the private Parks policies? Most if not all along the coast lines want you to book for 3 months straight and some want a 6 month commitment. Last year for 3 month minimum stay near Bradenton the cost was about $5,000. I don’t want to stay there that long so we found a place near Palm Harbor for $2,000 a month and mostly ate meals at the RV made with food that we took from home. I tried to get into some state parks that showed plenty of openings before opening however they were gone before 1 minute after the hour was up. Florida has more problems than the 10 month rule, they have no idea how to stop the bots from gobbling up the reservations
I agree with you. As a non-resident, we have entertained visiting Florida in the future. Personally, I have never researched State Parks as an option for an RV park, as I didn’t feel many would accommodate our 36′ 5th wheel. It has to be frustrating for residents to try to go camping just to find the parks are occupied mostly by non-residents. I like the policy!
Other states have similar policies. I live in Florida…I have not been able to book in the keys for the last 10 years! Would Cancelproof like to pay for our parks? what about other states that charge Floridians. I’m charged over a THOUSAND dollars for hunting and fishing licenses in some states.
A famous person said….”Peace be with you!”
Hey Blue Crab, reread what I posted. It was tongue in cheek sarcasm. I’m 100% behind the legislation. We’re in agreement.