Friday, October 29, 1999The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission is seeking comment on a tentatively adopted proposal to streamline camping fees at Montana State Parks and introduce a new Parks Passport for low-income residents and families.
"We're looking at new ways to make our State Parks more accessible for all Montanans and the commission agrees that our efforts to simplify the fees for parks users is a step in the right direction," said FWP Parks Administrator Doug Monger.
The new parks fee rule would include a $16 Low-Income Parks Passport. The $4 discount would be available to bona fide low-income residents as established by standard eligibility documentation, like Food Stamp or MedicAid identification cards, Monger said. Low-income residents also could purchase up to two additional passports for $8 each.
No price changes are proposed for FWP's State Parks Passports, which normally sell for $20, with up to two additional passports for $10 each; or for the Nonresident State Parks Passports, which sell for $24, and $12 each for up to two additional passports.
The rule also would standardize State Parks and Fishing Access Site camping fees at $12 and $5 respectively. The commission, however, further moved to assess a $10 camping fee at Fishing Access Sites for those who do not possess a valid Montana fishing license.
"It's an equity issue." Monger said. "The development and maintenance of Montana's Fishing Access Sites are funded by Montana anglers. The commission feels that if a camper at a Fishing Access Site doesn't have a valid fishing license, that camper should pay a higher fee to use the site."
Monger said a complete listing of Fishing Access Sites where camping fees are proposed to be charged, and a simplified outline of the proposed fee rule, are available at all FWP offices. Comment on the tentatively adopted rule must be received by Nov. 23. For more information call 406-444-3750.