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BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idahoans can get cheap state park access with their car registrations three months earlier than planned.

Gov. C.L. Butch Otter and state Department of Parks and Recreation director Nancy Merrill rolled out the new Passport program on Friday.

Idaho residents can buy a $10 annual pass to the state's 30 parks when they renew their vehicle registrations.

That'll replace the current $40 pass.

Merrill borrowed the idea from Michigan.

Despite the cheaper price, she hopes so many people buy a pass, it will actually raise more revenue in the long run.

The $40 passes bring in only about $800,000 annually, but Merrill predicts the Passport will add another $1.9 million.

She aims to wean state parks as much as possible from the taxpayer dime in an era of tough budgets.

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