Sunday, January 17, 2010

Park Model

This hits close to home.
An oversight board voted unanimously Friday to close 13 of Arizona's state parks in response to budget cuts, leaving two-thirds of the parks shut in the most aggressive cuts to such facilities in the nation.

In 1987 I worked on an performance audit of the Arizona State Parks system. Our major finding was that Arizona had a pretty poor state parks system by just about any measure, largely because the state was not willing to appropriate funds for acquisitions. The audit identified options for creating a stable funding source. A 1990 citizens' initiative implemented one of those options and created the Heritage Fund, that allocated a share of lottery revenues for various natural and historical resource acquisitions and programs.

Within the next decade State Parks added some crown jewel parks, virtually all of which are identified in the story. The closures are the collateral damage from the economic collapse. The loss is, I hope, temporary. I do not see in the article that Arizona is selling off its patrimony--not yet-- so the lands, history and heritage will remain protected. In Arizona's land consuming culture that's no small feat.

I'm proud to say that I played a small role in that feat.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah mark!

8:33 PM  
Blogger cile said...

Lets hope these parks stay protected and the citizens of AZ realize what a treasure they have in preserving it.

2:52 PM  

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