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Bill Provides State Parks Access To More Money For Upkeep

Mark Brennan via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

After a lengthy discussion, the Wyoming House of Representatives gave initial approval to a bill that increases the amount of maintenance money state parks can use. Currently state parks can use up to 30 percent of park fees for maintenance, but the bill allows them to use 60 percent for maintenance, administrative and operational costs.

Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee Chairwoman Jamie Flitner said last year's surge in park visitation led to the request.

"And our state parks really felt that, especially those near our borders. We just didn't see this as doing great harm in allowing them to use a little bit more of the funds that they generate through those fees by those visitors to go towards the preservation of those assets," said Flitner

Worland Rep. Michael Greear expressed concern that lawmakers were giving park administrators too much leeway and could use the money on staff. But supporters said lawmakers would have some input on what the money is used for. The bill will be debated two more times.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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