Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Idaho Parks launching new fund-raising program

To raise badly needed funds, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is launching a new program that will allow vehicle owners to voluntarily pay a $10 fee when they register their cars. The Idaho State Parks Passport will provide access to 30 state parks.

Parks and Recreation currently offers a similar pass for $40 that raises $800,000 a year. It's hoped that the lower pass price coupled with more exposure to a broader audience through car registrations will bring additional $1.9 million annually. State support is down 80 percent from 2010.

In Michigan, a similar program raised $10 million in the first eight months in 2011, and ended the year with $18 million in the bank. About 28 percent of renewing vehicle owners opted for the Michigan sticker.

"As they talk about ways to improve facilities like fixing bathrooms, they're also talking about marketing ideas," she said.

A bill to create the program is expected to be introduced Jan. 31.

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