Boise, ID (STL.News) Governor Brad Little signed House Bill 204 into law today, the second of his “Building Idaho’s Future” bills that make strategic investments in critical state priorities. House Bill 204 focuses on boosting the economy in rural communities by improving state parks and outdoor recreation opportunities.
“More than ever before, Idahoans are turning to the outdoors to recreate, relax, connect with nature and loved ones, and just have fun,” Governor Little said. “I appreciate my partners in the Legislature – especially the floor sponsors, Senator Dave Lent and Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy – for investing in rural Idaho and Idahoans’ quality of life through enhanced outdoor recreation opportunities.”
“With the record shattering 7.7 million visitors in 2020, our users love Idaho State Parks and ask for more facilities, recreation opportunities, and careful resource management. Governor Little and the Legislature recognize those objectives and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is excited to move ahead with these projects,” Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation Director Susan Buxton said.
“Building Idaho’s Future” is Governor Little’s plan to use Idaho’s record budget surplus to provide Idahoans historic tax relief and make strategic investments in transportation, education, broadband, water, outdoor recreation, and other critical areas to propel our state forward.
Top priority projects that receive funding through House Bill 204 include:
- Improvements to the Idaho Centennial Trail, the 900-mile course that takes users from Idaho’s desert canyonlands through its scenic central mountains and to the lush forest of North Idaho.
- Renovations to the Heyburn State Park Rocky Point Lodge to enhance tourism and infuse economic activity in the Plummer area.
- Repairs at Bruneau Dunes observatory to support astronomy education for Idaho students and expand services, boosting the economy in this remote area of the state.
- Rehabilitation of historic buildings at Land of the Yankee Fork State Park, supporting Idaho history and infusing funds into the rural economy of the Challis area.
- Sheridan Property Acquisition, providing a physical connection between the City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park to greatly expand motorized and non-motorized recreational trail opportunities for the growing number of visitors to this region of Cassia County.
- Repairs at Massacre Rocks State Park, supporting the American Falls area. Just off of I-84, the park is a convenient and popular destination for anglers and boaters accessing the Snake River.