It is the policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia that personal information about citizens will be collected only to the extent necessary to provide the service or benefit desired; that only appropriate information will be collected; that the citizen shall understand the reason the information is collected and be able to examine their personal record which is maintained by a public body.
- No personal information is collected simply by accessing this website.
- Does not require you to provide any personal information to download files or reports.
- Asks you to provide enough information (mailing address, email address) to allow us to mail the requested document(s) or other information.
- Will use this information only to mail you the requested document(s) or other information.
- If you choose not to provide us personal information, we will be unable to provide you with the document(s) or information requested.
- Unless specified, personal information collected by the agency will not be maintained by the agency once the requested transaction has been completed therefore no personal record will be available for review.
- Does not place a "cookie" on your computer*.
- Will not track your movements through the website.
* In order to make Virginia State Park cabin, camping or other amenity reservations online, the privately owned and operated ReserveAmerica website requires the use of a "cookie." By contract, the information cannot be shared with others. Nonetheless, those choosing not to accept the private site's "cookie" can opt to reserve these amenities otherwise by calling 1-800-933-PARK, in Richmond, (804) 225-3867. If you have any concerns regarding this privately owned site's use of a "cookie," please email reservations@ReserveAmerica.com or call 1-800-695-4636.
* A cookie is used to introduce content intended for use on mobile devices. The content was added on July 15, 2012, to better serve a growing number of DCR website users who use mobile devices. The cookie offers users the choices of downloading a state parks app, continuing to the mobile site or opting for the full DCR state parks website. Information used by the cookie is not stored by the agency or shared with others. Those with concerns should visit www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/index.shtml instead of using the mobile website.
Neither the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation(DCR) nor any employee of the department warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products or services linked from this system, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or outdated. Any person or entity relying on any information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk.
Unauthorized attempts to modify any information stored on this system, to defeat or circumvent security features or to utilize this system for other than its intended purposes are prohibited and may result in criminal prosecution.
External websites are checked against the following criteria before a link is placed on DCR’s website. All requests are gauged against the criteria.
- Links are placed on DCR’s website for the benefit and convenience of its users, not the owner of the target website.
- External links under state park pages’ nearby attractions section must be approved by the given park’s manager prior to placement.
- The website’s information must be accurate and current. The site must be established, reputable and dependable.
- The website must be well-organized and easily navigated.
- The linked content must pertain to its associated DCR website content as well as the needs and interests of its users.
- The website’s ownership must be clearly evident on the linked page.
- We do not link to external sites that require an access fee, and we do not charge to place external links on our site.
Freedom of Information Act
Rights of Requesters and the Responsibilities of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located § 2.2-3700 et. seq. of the Code of Virginia, guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth and representatives of the media access to public records held by public bodies, public officials, and public employees.
A public record is any writing or recording -- regardless of whether it is a paper record, an electronic file, an audio or video recording, or any other format -- that is prepared or owned by, or in the possession of a public body or its officers, employees or agents in the transaction of public business. All public records are presumed to be open, and may only be withheld if a specific, statutory exemption applies.
The policy of FOIA states that the purpose of FOIA is to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities. In furthering this policy, FOIA requires that the law be interpreted liberally, in favor of access, and that any exemption allowing public records to be withheld must be interpreted narrowly.
Your FOIA Rights
- You have the right to request to inspect or receive copies of public records, or both.
- You have the right to request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.
- If you believe that your FOIA rights have been violated, you may file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance with FOIA.
Making a Request for records from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
- You may request records by U.S. Mail, fax, e-mail, in person, or over the phone. FOIA does not require that your request be in writing, nor do you need to specifically state that you are requesting records under FOIA.
- From a practical perspective, it may be helpful to both you and the person receiving your request to put your request in writing. This allows you to create a record of your request. It also gives us a clear statement of what records you are requesting, so that there is no misunderstanding over a verbal request. However, we cannot refuse to respond to your FOIA request if you elect to not put it in writing.
- Your request must identify the records you are seeking with "reasonable specificity." This is a common-sense standard. It does not refer to or limit the volume or number of records that you are requesting; instead, it requires that you be specific enough so that we can identify and locate the records that you are seeking.
- Your request must ask for existing records or documents. FOIA gives you a right to inspect or copy records; it does not apply to a situation where you are asking general questions about the work of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, nor does it require the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to create a record that does not exist.
- You may choose to receive electronic records in any format used by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation in the regular course of business.
- For example, if you are requesting records maintained in an Excel database, you may elect to receive those records electronically, via e-mail or on a computer disk, or to receive a printed copy of those records
- If we have questions about your request, please cooperate with staff's efforts to clarify the type of records that you are seeking, or to attempt to reach a reasonable agreement about a response to a large request. Making a FOIA request is not an adversarial process, but we may need to discuss your request with you to ensure that we understand what records you are seeking.
To request records from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, you may direct your request to Michael Fletcher. He can be reached at 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219, phone 804-786-8445, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact him with questions you have concerning requesting records from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. In addition, the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is available to answer any questions you may have about FOIA. The Council may be contacted by email at email@example.com, or by phone at 804-225-3056 or [toll-free] 1-866-448-4100.
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Responsibilities in Responding to Your Request
- The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation must respond to your request within five working days of receiving it. "Day One" is considered the day after your request is received. The five-day period does not include weekends or holidays.
- The reason behind your request for public records from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is irrelevant, and we cannot ask you why you want the records before we respond to your request. FOIA does, however, allow the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to ask you to provide your name and legal address.
- FOIA requires that the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation make one of the following responses to your request within the five-day time period:
- We provide you with the records that you have requested in their entirety.
- We withhold all of the records that you have requested, because all of the records are subject to a specific statutory exemption. If all of the records are being withheld, we must send you a response in writing. That writing must identify the volume and subject matter of the records being withheld, and state the specific section of the Code of Virginia that allows us to withhold the records.
- We provide some of the records that you have requested, but withhold other records. We cannot withhold an entire record if only a portion of it is subject to an exemption. In that instance, we may redact the portion of the record that may be withheld, and must provide you with the remainder of the record. We must provide you with a written response stating the specific section of the Code of Virginia that allows portions of the requested records to be withheld.
- If it is practically impossible for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to respond to your request within the five-day period, we must state this in writing, explaining the conditions that make the response impossible. This will allow us seven additional working days to respond to your request, giving us a total of 12 working days to respond to your request.
- If you make a request for a very large number of records, and we feel that we cannot provide the records to you within 12 days without disrupting our other organizational responsibilities, we may petition the court for additional time to respond to your request. However, FOIA requires that we make a reasonable effort to reach an agreement with you concerning the production or the records before we go to court to ask for more time.
- You may have to pay for the records that you request from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. FOIA allows us to charge for the actual costs of responding to FOIA requests. This would include items like staff time spent searching for the requested records, copying costs, or any other costs directly related to supplying the requested records. It cannot include general overhead costs.
- If we estimate that it will cost more than $200 to respond to your request, we may require you to pay a deposit, not to exceed the amount of the estimate, before proceeding with your request. The five days that we have to respond to your request does not include the time between when we ask for a deposit and when you respond.
- You may request that we estimate in advance the charges for supplying the records that you have requested. This will allow you to know about any costs upfront, or give you the opportunity to modify your request in an attempt to lower the estimated costs.
- If you owe us money from a previous FOIA request that has remained unpaid for more than 30 days, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation may require payment of the past-due bill before it will respond to your new FOIA request.
Commonly used exemptions
The Code of Virginia allows any public body to withhold certain records from public disclosure. the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation commonly withholds records subject to the following exemptions:
- Personnel records (§ 2.2-3705.1 (1) of the Code of Virginia)
- Records subject to attorney-client privilege (§ 2.2-3705.1 (2)) or attorney work product (§ 2.2-3705.1 (3))
- Vendor proprietary information (§ 2.2-3705.1 (6))
- Records relating to the negotiation and award of a contract, prior to a contract being awarded (§ 2.2-3705.1 (12))
There are other agency-specific exemptions as well that would be cited in a written response, stating the specific, pertinent section of the Code of Virginia.
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Social Media Policy
We in DCR's Virginia State Parks believe in transparency and engaging the public. Public comments made on our blogs and other social media portals are valuable. However, we reserve the right to restrict comments. We consider the following when restricting comments:
- Inappropriate and offensive comments will be deleted. Parks are family friendly venues, and comments and posts must pertain to their users.
- Comments meant to belittle, demean or bully others will be deleted, as will those that are spiteful or discourteous.
- Posts and comments that are irrelevant to Virginia State Parks will be deleted. Our social media account administrators determine which comments, photos, videos, posts and other user-submitted content are inappropriate or offensive. Administrators also decide when to remove or disapprove user-submitted content pertaining to places and attractions outside Virginia State Parks or of no general interest to park visitors. Our admin team is the final arbiter on relevancy.
- We welcome criticism and the opportunity to address complaints in public forums. Continued comments regarding the same complaint or made on posts that are unrelated to the complaint's topic, however, will be deleted. We provide a forum for complaints, but complaints must pertain to the given post or blog.
Twitter follow policy
We generally follow those who follow us on Twitter. We reserve the right to not follow accounts that seem to be for spamming, are not identified with an avatar, or have descriptions that aren't adequate for us to tell whether or not the account is family friendly. We won't follow those with lewd or inappropriate avatars. Accounts focused on topics irrelevant to Virginia State Parks or our mission may not be followed. For example, accounts with a description that implies ways to get more followers, forex currency trading, or get-rich-quick schemes, etc., would not be followed even if those with such accounts mention family and similar interest as well. Our decision on whether or not to follow a Twitter account is often based on limited information so those who feel we were wrong about not following them should send us a message.
We also reserve the right to discontinue following those with accounts we deem to be not family friendly or in violation of the above criteria. We also may block accounts that "spam the timeline" or persist in sending us messages even though we are not following them.