Arizona State Parks Board looks at ways to cut expenses

Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area, Show Low

[Source: Mike Leiby, White Mountain Independent] — The Arizona State Parks Governing Board recently announced that budget cuts per the state Legislature on Jan. 31 has forced the cancelation of at least one major event in the state and possibly some park closures. The only state park in the immediate area is Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area, which according to park officials, is pretty safe at this time because of its unique status as a tripartide agency park.  In contrast to most other state parks, which survive solely on the state parks system money, Fool Hollow Lake is the result of a partnership between the Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Forest Service, and Arizona State Parks and has additional funding sources which gives it greater protection, said Arizona State Parks spokeswoman Ellen Bilbrey.

For those wondering if Woodland Lake Park might be in line for possible closure, there is no worry about that in connection with State Parks budgets because it is on Forest Service land and the use agreement between the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside and the Forest Service is not affected by State Parks system budget cuts.  However, other parks statewide under the auspices of the State Parks system might not be spared. State park officials recently announced that the Civil War in the Southwest event held for the last 20 years at Picacho Peak State Park is being canceled this year.

Since the announcement there has been a level of outcry from the public and reenactment community to keep the event open.  There is even an effort from within Arizona’s reenactment community to move the event to Pioneer Living History Museum in Phoenix (at least for this year) in an attempt to keep it alive.  Picacho Peak Park Director Rob Young said that the possibility of reenactors finding a permanent new location like Pioneer Living History Museum is exactly what he feared might happen.  “Even though the site at Picacho is not available, the Southwest Civil War Association will put on the event at Pioneer Living History Museum,” said Joe Spikes, the event coordinator for the Southwest Civil War Association.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

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