The year-round campsite leases at the Bass Lake Beach and Campground run afoul of the guidelines under which the state turned the property over to the county. The Land and Water Conservation Fund does not allow for permanent enclosed structures like campers to be placed on public campsites. President of the Commissioners Jennifer Davis advised Bass Lake Beach and Campground manager Richard Callahan and his attorney, David Wallsmith, that the practice will no longer be allowed.
She told them Monday night that campers and other items need to be removed from the property on the last day of seasonal operations this year. Davis added allowing access to the beach and campground during the winter months raises a host of liability concerns should an accident occur.
When the campground reopens next year, camping will be limited to 15 days, after which time the tenants will have to leave. Davis says this is consistent with the state’s land use restrictions at other public campsites. The Starke County Council on Monday approved the establishment of a county parks and recreation board to provide greater oversight to the beach and campground, Starke County Forest and other county-owned recreational properties.