Senate Debates State Park Fee Distribution

Feb 11, 2014

The Wyoming Senate has given initial support to a bill that would allow State Parks to use entrance fees on things besides major building projects.  But not everyone loves the idea. 

Credit Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails

Senate Majority Floor Leader Phil Nicholas of Laramie said it was difficult to raise park fees to pay for important capital construction and major maintenance  projects and argued that it would be wrong to use the money for another purpose.

"But when we convinced people to accept and pay these dues, they were promised for capital construction," Nicholas said. "We pay a lot for tourism to bring people in to pay these charges.  They expect to see quality facilities and they ought to be going into the quality of the facilities."

Nicholas suggested additional money come from the state budget. 

Senate Travel Committee Chairman Bruce Burns says that request was made, but he says those that run the parks also need more flexibility.          

“Capital construction and major maintenance is well and good and is really needed, but if you don’t have the people there you can’t the facility in the first place,” Burns said.

The Senate will debate the bill two more times.