Half of state parks at risk

From Red Rock in Sedona to the Catalina Mountains, our state parks are places to experience nature and history, and for wildlife to find refuge.

Yet budget tricks in Phoenix are threatening the future of our parks. In the last four years, the Legislature has raided more than $80 million from the parks’ coffers—including admission fees collected at the parks’ gates—and diverted the money to other projects.

As a result, four parks, including Homolovi and Oracle, suffered short-term closures. Sixteen others, from Roper Lake to Boyce Thompson Arboretum, are operating on Band-Aid funds that will soon run out. It doesn’t make sense:

• Each year, the parks help generate $266 million in tourism revenue.

• Keeping the parks open and maintained costs only $34 million annually. Why jeopardize them? 

Our parks need permanent protection

In 2010, Gov. Jan Brewer threatened to close two- thirds of Arizona’s state parks and privatize others. Today, 16 parks are operating with help from local governments and nonprofits under temporary agreements that will soon expire. Then what?

We shouldn’t have to wonder whether Lost Dutchman, Tonto Natural Bridge, or any of our parks will be available for future Arizonans to enjoy.

The state Legislature and the people of Arizona must solve this problem once and for all by creating a stable, permanent source of funding for our parks— so that our parks stay safe and open to the public no matter what happens with the budget in Phoenix.

You can help make sure this happens by signing our petition and joining our campaign.

Together, we can win

Members and supporters like you make it possible for our staff to conduct research, educate the public, testify in Phoenix, and persuade elected officials to make the right choices. By taking action online, you can help Arizona’s state parks stay open and keep our tourism economy alive.

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