Idaho’s state Department of Parks and Recreation has announced that all state parks will stay open through the summer season, despite budget cuts. “At a time when budgets are tight, our agency understands that families will want to turn to their state parks for affordable outdoor experiences,” said state parks Director Robert Meinen. “For that reason, IDPR is going to do everything it can to ensure that Idaho’s state parks are open and accessible to visitors this year.” Seasonal staff will be trimmed for park maintenance and operations, however. “The reductions to staff will mean re-evaluating maintenance and facility cleaning schedules in every state park,” Meinen said. “That in mind, we’re going to keep our parks open and continue to provide safe, clean recreational experiences.”
Meinen caused a flurry of concern during the legislative session when he speculated that some parks might have to close - including possibly Old Mission State Park at Cataldo. Idaho has 30 state parks and recreational trailways statewide. To reserve campsites, cabins or yurts for overnights at state parks, go to www.parksandrecreation.idaho.gov or call 1-888-9-CAMPID.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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