I spent much of my childhood growing up in state parks.  My old man was for a time a park ranger and later a park superintendent.  It was a good lifestyle, filled with lakes, fishing and beautiful vistas.  It was also politicized.  Commissioners (these were political appointees) would drop by unexpectedly and have questions about procedures, hours of operation and always maintenance.

I’ve always found it strange many of our parks in Idaho are operating on the honor system.

Parks need maintenance.  These are places heavily trafficked.  Depending on the park, there are sometimes buildings and museums in need of care.  At Cataldo, in North Idaho, there is a fine museum dedicated to the traditions and history of the region’s indigenous tribes.  The church is also a marvel.  The oldest building in Idaho and in need of tender loving care.

I’ve always found it strange many of our parks in Idaho are operating on the honor system.  Often, there’s nobody at the gate to collect entrance fees.  I’ve had people beep horns at me or drive around me while I stuff an envelope with my admission.  Finally, I simply got the yearly pass when registering my car.

Some park fees are going up.  You can read the specifics by clicking here.

Nothing in life is free.  If you want to enjoy our park system in the future, be responsible.  We can maintain what we’ve got through fees or an increase in taxes.  The first one is direct but tell me where you can get a better bargain?  At the movies?  For the price of a decent hamburger you can still gain park admission.

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