Sen. Howard Marklein Circulates Legislation to Give Wisconsin Residents Priority on State Park Campsite Reservations

Senator seeks to give Wisconsin campers a two week head start over non-residents

Madison, WI - Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) circulated legislation today to create a 14-day window where Wisconsin residents would be able to reserve campsites at Wisconsin’s most popular state parks prior to non-residents.

“Under the current system, the online campsite reservation window opens exactly at 9am, 11 months prior to the date of the reservation. This leads to highly stressful situations for groups who are trying to reserve their favorite campsite for family reunions or holiday weekend vacations. I have heard stories from families needing to use multiple devices just to reserve a campsite,” Senator Marklein said. “Wisconsin residents should never lose out on a campsite to a non-resident because their internet is too slow or they couldn’t click on the campsite soon enough.”

Similar to other activities where individuals pay to move up in the queue or “skip” the line, Wisconsin residents would have to pay the non-resident camping fee, generally $10-$15 more per night, to take advantage of the early reservation window. 

The bill is currently circulating in the legislature for co-sponsorship and will proceed through the legislative process.