Future of camping at Lake Jennings in question - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Future of camping at Lake Jennings in question

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's a popular spot, but the future of camping at Lake Jennings is in jeopardy.

There is talk of closing the reservoir's 96-space campground due to it losing money for the past several years.

Campground host Jac Claypool needs some camping company, or it's possible the Lake Jennings campground could be closed forever.

"I get people from Lakeside that say we never know this was here," Jac said.

Lake Jennings and its campground are owned and operated by the Helix Water District and its board.

"I don't have the direct authority to make the decision whether the campground stays open or closes," operations manager Brian Olney said.

Olney says although progress is being made, the campground is losing money. In fiscal year 2012-2013, it lost $125,000. Last year, there was a $90,000 loss, $35,000 of which was spent upgrading electrical needs. Losing more money could lead to higher water bills for Helix Water District users.

He says the water district has 55,000 customers, and according to their records, only one percent of those people camp at Lake Jennings.

The big draw at the lake has always been the fishing and boating, and Olney wants to make it clear -- no one's talking about closing the lake.

"Absolutely not. This discussion is strictly related to the operation of the campground at Lake Jennings," he said.

Park ranger David Acevedo says from wifi to wildlife, his campground has it all.

"It's local, but when you come out here, a constant comment to us is that you feel as though you've gone further out in the outdoors," he said.

The goal is to spread the word, and basically the message to San Diegans is: use it or lose it.

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