The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is planning to go ahead with a big change in the use of state campgrounds. The D-N-R has used a “first-come, first-serve” system for camping spots — but spokesperson Sherry Arntzen says they’ll move to a reservation system in 2006. Arntzen says a survey showed 69-percent of campers said they’d use a reservation. She says they had a lot of strong feelings for and against the change. She people are concerned about taking away the sponteneity of camping, but others say they’d be more likely to camp if they knew they had a spot guaranteed. Arntzen says they’re now working on the rules for reservations. She says they have to decide how far out to let people make reservations. She says they’re also looking at leaving some camping spots as “first-come, first-serve” for those who want to keep the spontaneous element in camping. Arntzen says she’s trying to get the system going, while keeping everyone informed. She says she’s trying to get together some information to put on their website so people can get an idea of the things they’re working on. Arntzen says the reservation system will add some new things that she thinks campers will like. She says right now you can’t pay with a credit card, but that will be a new feature with the on-line reservation system. She says it will also allow you to make a reservation 24-hours-a-day. Arntzen says they hope to have the system up and running for reservations by early 2006.
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