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Head of Idaho State Parks Asks for Increase in Budget

flickr.com, brewbooks

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The head of Idaho’s state parks is asking lawmakers to double the agency’s share of general fund revenue in 2014. Department of Parks and Recreation Director Nancy Merrill also told budget writers Monday the agency kept all 30 state parks open last year — thanks in part to a legion of volunteers who provided 86,000 hours of free work last season.

The department got $1.3 million from the general fund in 2013. Merrill asked for an increase Monday, requesting $2.8 million to help with the agency’s budget next year. The Spokesman-Review reports Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is recommending $1.35 million for the agency. The department’s total budget in 2013 was $32.4 million, with most of the revenue coming from park fees, RV registrations, dedicated funds and federal cash.

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