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BOISE -- The director of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is retiring.

Nancy Merrill says she will leave the post in the middle of July.

The 66-year-old Merrill became the director in 2009 just as the state was cutting the agency's budget from $17.7 million in 2008 down to $1.3 million this year.

Merrill says the agency worked hard the past few years to reinvent itself to keep parks open. The state has 30 of them.

Lawmakers this year approved a $3.5 million budget for state parks.

State officials say a national search is being launched to replace her.

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