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The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation will ask this fall to take over two Dworshak Reservoir campgrounds from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to The Lewiston Tribune. 

One, the Three Meadows Group Camp built at a cost of more than $1.2 million, has never been opened to the public, parks Director Robert E. Meinen told the Idaho Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee Tuesday (June 18) during a tour of Hells Gate State Park near Lewiston.

The group camp probably could be paying its own way in five years, he estimated.

Freeman Creek Campground, the other site sought by the state, could be paying for up to 65% of its operating cost in four years, he estimated. Startup costs would be about $200,000 for both the first year and $120,000 in subsequent years, he said.

Leasing the two campgrounds would require approval of the legislature and the governor’s office, but it could be an asset to the state if people only knew about the reservoir and recreation possibilities there, Meinen said.

The Nez Perce Tribe at one point had agreed to manage the group camp, which has space for about 70 campers in cabins and a lodge, Meinen said. After the tribe withdrew last year, the University of Idaho Extension Service expressed some interest, but that also has gone nowhere, he said.

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