Friday, November 12, 1999A Parks Passport for low-income residents and families is among the new State Parks fee proposals the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission tentatively adopted in October.
"We're looking at new ways to make our State Parks more accessible for all Montanans," said FWP Parks Administrator Doug Monger. "A State Parks Passport for low income residents is just one proposal in our new fee rule that we hope will make Montana State Parks more inviting places to visit."
The State Parks Passport is a vehicle decal that allows all vehicle passengers free day use of all Montana Sate Parks. The commission is currently seeking public comment on the new State Parks fee rule through Nov. 23.
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, 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.