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State Parks Becoming Victims of Bad Economy

Posted Feb 02 2010 12:00am

While I was aware that some of the state parks in Arizona were about to be closed because of budget cuts, it’s another to read the list and realize my kids will not be able to visit some of my local favorites from when I first lived in the Grand Canyon state.

How can they be closing Lost Dutchman, Red Rock, Tonto Natural Bridge and Picacho Peak state parks? When the state’s park budget goes from $26 million a year to $7.5 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.

While most of these parks are not famous like Arizona’s big boys up north and down south, it’s hard for me to fathom that almost two-thirds of the state’s parks will be closed to the public by June.

Besides the main list, other parks have already been closed or transferred. Only one is receiving outside funds – the fantastic Boyce Thompson Arboretum – to stay open.

Other states are considering similar measures, but I don’t think any have gone as far as Arizona yet. California, for example, has proposed expanded oil drilling off Santa Barbara’s coastline to help keep its parks open.

Is the trade off worth it? Regardless, oil is not an option for Arizona.

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