State parks adjust to budget cuts
In Idaho, state parks and recreation agencies are facing $4.5 million in budget cuts as the state heads into FY 2011. Instead of closing three of Idaho's 30 state parks to balance its budget, the Idaho Park and Recreation Board has voted to keep all parks open. The board will reduce services and close some parks on a seasonal basis to keep expenses in line.
Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) director Nancy Merrill outlined the department's budget-saving strategy: "During the next year, the agency's goal will be to focus on generating revenue to maintain operations long-term. The good news is, our 30 state parks will remain open for public enjoyment, and we're confident that our very supportive customers will understand that changes were necessary."
The department noted that entry to some parks could be limited in the future. In a statement, it said: "Access limitations and seasonal closures will be based on weather and staffs' ability to accommodate (i.e. snow removal) and historic visitation."
Idaho is not alone in taking budget-saving measures in its parks. In Georgia, the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for corporate sponsors to keep the Peach State's parks and historic sites open. The move comes as the department is facing sizable budget cuts.
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