The Arizona States Parks Foundation has put out an urgent call for help after the Arizona legislature acted on House Bill 2001. The Bill has now passed the house and senate. If you are an Arizona resident and find these actions unacceptable please click to the Parks website and send Governor Jan Brewer and state legislature an email urging them to STOP.
This bill has been a huge concern for people active in the preservation of Arizona State Parks. The problem is, as I and many others see it, is if this happens in Arizona, what is to prevent it from happening in Utah, or New Mexico, or, or, or? The answer – nothing.
House Bill 2001 is designed to cut $9 million out of the Arizona State Parks budget, leaving them $10 million to work with. Earlier this year 40% of the park staffing was cut. If you can do the math, this leaves about 1/3 of what the parks system needs to keep operating. Solution – close 2/3 of the state’s parks.
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
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.
Please note the AZ State Parks Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 to assist Arizona State Parks in fulfilling its mission through education, community participation and financial support.
I would like to thank Jim Allen at the Arizona Dinghy Digest for the heads up on how serious this is.
Tonight ABC 15 in Phoenix ran a story on it. Please read Why Arizona State Parks on the Chopping Block and watch the video.