[Source: Bill Roe, Arizona State Parks Foundation] — Across the state, communities from Tucson to Flagstaff, Parker to Pinetop, and dozens of places in between derive millions of dollars annually from activities associated with Arizona State Parks. Yet to look at the state Legislature’s latest budget-cutting plans, you would think the economic, recreational, scenic, and historic values of State Parks count for naught.
For the second time in five years, the Legislature is poised to take State Parks funds in an ill-conceived bid to balance the state budget on the back of an agency that actually helps make money for the state. Making the point, an economic study done for State Parks by Northern Arizona University in 2002 showed that the state’s 27 parks and conservation areas generated more than $126 million for local economies in that year. But this seems lost on Legislators who fail to appreciate the business-like workings of the State Parks Department. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]