Port districts present different camping policies
May 14, 2020
As Wahkiakum County moves into a Phase 2 opening from covid-19 restrictions, the county's two port districts are taking different steps in allowing camping at their facilities.
Port District 2 is allowing day use only at Skamokawa Vista Park, with a possibility of allowing overnight camping later this month.
Port District 1 has started allowing camping at the Elochoman Slough Marina but had ribboned off County Line Park for day use only going into last weekend.
Lee Tischer, a member of the Port 2 board of commissioners, said Tuesday that Vista Park remains closed for overnight camping at least till May 20. The commission will meet next Tuesday and address the issue at their meeting then.
"We feel it's in the best interest of our customers, our employees and our community to not have large numbers of people coming in from outside areas that may have covid-19," Tischer said.
He added that port personnel are paying attention to state guidelines and said, "We will work with the system."
Meanwhile, Port 1 has been allowing some camping at the Elochoman Slough Marina, honoring existing reservations but not taking any new ones.
The marina is considered essential business, and therefore remains open, Port 1 Manager Jackie Lea said, adding, "Wahkiakum isn't a big tourist draw so we haven't had a problem."
Campers have been asked to take alternate sites to allow for social distancing, with the exception of larger family groups who can share adjacent spots.
Long term campers have not been a concern to the port; they were on the property before the pandemic and are not considered to be a public risk.
The cabins and yurts are not available at this time.
The office is closed to the public, but bathrooms remain open. There are signs posted outside the restrooms asking people to limit use to one person at a time. There is a hand washing station available for use.
Bathrooms are currently being cleaned once daily, but port staff plan to add a second cleaning during the day.
The port will begin taking reservations for the marina and County Line Park when Phase 2 guidelines are presented.
County Line Park is currently open for day use from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., though the restrooms remain closed. The first reservation on the books for the park is May 23, but the park may open for overnight camping sooner or later, depending on the new guidelines.
The restrooms will open, and they too will be cleaned twice a day by the park host.