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Camping numbers high in Wisconsin parks despite fee hikes

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MADISON — Wisconsin state park use this year is on track to be higher than average, despite fee increases that were imposed to offset the withdrawal of tax support.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the number of camping registrations and nights camped in 2016 through Friday was greater than in any year since 2008 except for last year’s record.

This year, there have been nearly 160,000 camping registrations and more than 386,000 nights camped for state parks, recreation areas and southern forests.

State parks section chief Chris Pedretti says park usage is highly dependent on weekend weather, gas prices and the overall economy. He says 2016 has been a mostly good year by those measures.

Pedretti says park officials haven’t experienced many people complaining about the higher fees.