Idaho parks agency relying on fewer state funds

The head of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation says the agency no longer relies heavily on state tax dollars after finding other ways to collect revenue.

Director David Langhorst last week told state budget writers that his department uses just half of the general fund dollars as it did before the economic downfall in 2008.

Langhorst says the department has boosted new retail programs, such as the Parks Passport program.  It has also offered more camper cabins and sandboard rentals.

The parks department is expected to get 3-point-4 million dollars in state funds next fiscal year.  In fiscal year 2008 – prior to the economic downturn – the agency received nearly 18 million dollars in state money.

The department largely relies on fees and sales, along with grants and registration fees collected on boats, snowmobiles, motorbikes, and RVs.  (AP)