Arizona State Parks: A System on its Deathbed?

Published online: Dec 22, 2009 News
Viewed 297 time(s)

Proposed budget adjustments that are on the table at the special session of the State Legislature will cut more than $9 million of Parks funds, leaving the agency with only about $10 million in its 2010 budget.

That's less than 30 percent of the agency's normal funding and not enough to continue park operations beyond this fiscal year.

Governor Brewer and the Legislature are seeking $205 million in cuts to mitigate a deficit estimated to be $1.5 billion. The proposed cuts to State Parks would provide just 4 percent of their goal, while shutting down the Park's annual contribution to the Arizona economy of more than $266 million.

This result also negates 10 months of work by the
Governor's Task Force on Sustainable State Parks, which recommended in October that State Parks be funded with a fee on Arizona license plate renewals in exchange for free entry to the parks.

The cuts will force major reductions in Parks staff and closure of more than half of the State's 30 parks this fiscal year. The resulting loss of Park revenue is projected to leave the Parks System with no money to start the next fiscal year, July 1, 2010. The next step will be to shut down the entire system and dispose of Parks properties, returning most of them to their original owners.

If Legislatures could keep parks open to Arizonans through 50 years of prior downturns, wars, gas crises and political turmoil, surely current lawmakers can find the revenues to do so--especially given the great economic value, popularity and intrinsic worth of our state parks.

The full Senate must consider this bill, then it moves to the House (HB2001).

For more information, visit arizonastateparksfoundation.org.

You May Also Be Interested In...

March 25, 2015

Restored To Her Glory

If you’re interested in restoration stories, you don’t want to miss this one—which involves a little history lesson to boot.
March 19, 2015

Why You Should Keep Your Smoke Alarms Up To Date

If you want to hear a good argument for keeping your smoke alarms up to date onboard, check out this man’s story according to Cambridge News.
March 11, 2015

Unmanned Houseboat Drifts 165 Miles

You’ve heard of runaway dogs, but have you ever heard of a runaway houseboat?
March 04, 2015

Lake Norris Update: Twin Cove Marina Is Seeing Great Progress

In an admiral show of resilience and dedication, the heavy winter damage at Twin Cove Marina, Carryville, Tenn., is already being tackled by cleanup crews.
February 24, 2015

Norris Lake Boats Suffer Severe Winter Damage

We have sad news—several boats and docks collapsed under the fury of a winter storm in the Norris Lake, Campbell County, Tenn., area this Saturday.
February 18, 2015

Houseboating Opportunities In India

The Times of India brings word that the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) is investigating the possibilities of promoting houseboating in Kochi,a major port city...
Follow us on Facebook!   Follow us on Instagram!   Follow us on Pinterest!   Follow us on YouTube!