New rules heading to Virginia State Parks

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Courtesy: Virginia.org

(WFXR) – More than a dozen new rules go into effect at Virginia State Parks in October.

It’s part of a fast-track regulation review from the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Some of the changes to state rules update outdated languages, others could catch campers off-guard.

Here’s a list of some of the changes that could affect you:

  • Generator use will be prohibited at campsites and in the campground at all times.  Previously, generators were allowed except during quiet hours (10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.)
  • Drones and unmanned aerial systems have been included in the list of “flying machines” prohibited in the park.  There is a provision that exempts rescue and training exercises for law enforcement.
  • Vaporizers or e-cigarette use is banned in buildings or parts of parks were tobacco smoking is banned.
  • Fungi have been added to the list of materials park visitors cannot remove from parks.  That list includes trees, minerals, rocks, and historical artifacts.  However, there is a new provision that allows fruits, nuts and berries to be collected for personal use.
  • The penalty for urinating or defecating outside in designated areas or facilities is being re-classified.  Previously an individual caught doing so, could have been charged with indecent exposure (a class-1 misdemeanor) regardless of intent.  People convicted under that charge were also required to register on Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry.  Once the new rules go into effect,  that violation of park law will become a class-3 misdemeanor.
  • Electric power-assisted bikes will be allowed on designated bicycle paths. 

The new rules go into effect October 17th.

You can find the complete list here

State officials are still taking public comments on these pending rules through October 2nd. 

Virginia State Parks see more than 10 million visitors each year on average. 

 

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