Campgrounds pushed to the limits

LINCOLN CITY — The rush for July 4 campsites at sold-out Devils Lake State Park and other wildly popular state campgrounds on the Oregon coast began last October, signaling another record-breaking year for a bureaucracy that pays its own way.

“We’re sold out,” said Chris Havel of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, a $200 million state agency whose biennial budget is composed entirely of campground fees and a sliver of Oregon Lottery proceeds.

The agency takes reservations all year long, nine months out. For July 4 and other major holidays, the OPRD reservation line answered by

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