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Gov. Justice cancels proposed state park fee: "When I see a mistake, I make it right"

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced he is stopping a recent proposal by the Division of Natural Resources to charge state park visitors a $2 entry fee. (WCHS/WVAH)

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced he is stopping a recent proposal by the Division of Natural Resources to charge state park visitors a $2 entry fee.

Justice called the DNR announcement an error in a Tuesday news release and ordered the pilot program canceled, saying the initiative was put into motion without his approval.

“West Virginians are struggling and at this time there is no way I can go along with charging a fee to enjoy our state parks,” Justice said in the release. “The move was announced without my approval. It’s a bad idea and I’m going to fix it.”

The program had proposed a $2 entry fee for seven state parks: Babcock State Park, Blackwater Falls State Park, Cacapon Resort State Park, Coopers Rock State Forest, Little Beaver State Park, Pipestem Resort State Park and Valley Falls State Park. A $12 annual pass also could have been purchased for the parks.

DNR officials said they had hoped the program would bring $1 million to the state park system. Justice said the parks

"West Virginia’s state parks will remain free and open to the public," Justice said. "When I see a mistake, I make it right.”



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