The Idaho Parks and Recreation Board has directed staff to come up with a plan in the next month for reopening Dworshak State Park near Orofino in north central Idaho. The park closed last year and has been a sticking point with some lawmakers deciding the future of state parks. Parks director Nancy Merrill told lawmakers Friday that the park will reopen.
Sen. Gary Schroeder, R-Moscow, has called for Dworshak to be reopened, and to examine why it was closed in the first place. Schroeder has a proposal to de-power the parks board sitting in the Senate Resource and Environment Committee, which he leads.
The decision to open Dworshak will impact the new business model that Merrill brought to the park board in a meeting this week. "This action will modify the draft business plan significantly," said Jennifer Wernex, communications director for Idaho parks. The five-year plan is supposed to guide each park in how to raise revenues and lower costs. "The plan in its draft form does not include Dworshak State Park. Rather, it was created under the assumption that IDPR would manage 29 state parks, not 30. That said, every element of the plan will need to be modified, new ideas generated and the plan in its entirety will need to be reviewed, retooled and vetted by our staff."
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