Idaho's state parks department is taking a new approach to raising money through a pay-for-pass program. Banking on taxpayers desire for a choice, the agency is floating a bill in the state's legislature that will give Idahoans a choice of park passes.
Idaho's Parks and Recreation already offers a $40 annual park pass. The program is only raising $800,000 annually, far short of what the department needs to run its parks since the agency was put on a "pay for yourself" plan a couple of years ago. The new pass will be offered for $10 when Idahoans register their cars, and will allow access to only 30 state parks.
It's a dollars-to-donuts proposition though. If lawmakers pass the cheap pass program, then the agency projects it will lose followers from the $40 pass program. In the end, projections hope that the new pass will draw in a net $1.7 million. Still, out-of-staters are still stuck with the old $40 pass, and other fees charged in parks--read that camping, boating, and day visitation--will pump up the annual park income to $1.9 million.