Parks and Recreation - March 2010 - (Page 34)
COV E R STO RY A MERICAâ€™S STATE PARKS are facing a crisis greater than any time since their founding in the 1920s and 30s. The alarm sounded last summer when California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed eliminating virtually all general fund support for the operation of the California State Park System, about $140 million. Were that to happen, some 220 of the stateâ€™s 279 state parks, fully 80 percent of the state park system, would have to close. In Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer delivered a budget message assessing the fi nancial condition of the state as the worst in its 97year history. The $200 million cut from its budget falls far short of the current $1.9 billion deficit and does not begin to address the $3.4 billion abyss in the 2011 fi scal year. As a result, the Arizona State Parks Board approved closing up to twothirds of its 30 parks by June 30. These closures will have far-reaching consequences on the stateâ€™s economy, tourism projections, natural and cultural resources protection, and the hiring of future employees of the state park system. The ï¬scal threats to state parks are many, as are the counter strategies of their advocates. By Richard J. dolesh SAVING 34 Parks & Recreation MARCH 2010 www.NRPA .ORG skY: BoRIsLAV GNJIDIC/ sHutteRstoCk. sIGNs: sAMueL LoCke/ IstoCkPHoto.
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