The NYT takes a look at the state park dilemma and what some parks will be doing to stay open this season:
Here in Washington, one of only a handful of states that has not charged entrance fees to state parks, the revenue stream is about to change. Beginning July 1, the parks will no longer receive state money for their operating budgets. Instead, they will rely directly on new entrance fees — $30 for an annual pass, $10 for one day. It is far from clear that the new plan will compensate for the $70 million in state money that parks are losing each year.
“We’re totally free of the tax system,” said Jack Hartt, the manager here at Deception Pass State Park. “If you support the park system, you’ll buy a pass. If not, you won’t.”
“Customers,” Mr. Hartt said, “is the new buzzword.”