[Source: Office of the Governor] — Governor Jan Brewer recently signed an executive order to reestablish the Governor’s Sustainable State Parks Task Force, which will begin work immediately. “It is essential that we find a sustainable solution for our State Parks system,” said Governor Brewer. “State Parks are important to Arizona’s economy and numerous local communities, as they attract millions of visitors and preserve important cultural and natural resources. Now more than ever we need to reexamine the condition of the state park system and find creative ways for our beautiful parks to endure.”
The Sustainable State Parks Task Force was originally created in 2008 by executive order, but no progress to date has been made. In an effort to work through recent budget reductions and possible closures of various parks, Governor Brewer has re-assembled a group of leaders from across the state to examine and provide recommendations for the future of Arizona State Parks. The charge given the Task Force is the same as in 2008, to assess the condition of the State Parks system and its impacts on Arizona’s overall economy. Ultimately the group will make recommendations to the Governor as to how the system can achieve financial sustainability into the future.
Rich Dozer, president of GenSpring, a Phoenix Investment Company, and former president of the Arizona Diamondbacks will chair the Task Force. He will be joined by William Roe, Glen Kerslake and Diana Freshwater of Tucson; Robert McLendon of Yuma; Grady Gammage, Jr. of Tempe; Bill Cordasco of Flagstaff; and Walter Meek, Harry Papp, and Jeffery Williamson of Phoenix. The Task Force may grow its membership to no more than 21, and all members will serve without compensation. The deadline for their recommendations is October 31, 2009.
“These places, such as Kartchner Caverns, Tonto National Bridge, and Tombstone, are all cultural and recreational jewels of Arizona,” said incoming chairman Dozer. “In this economy, it is a great challenge to find a sustainable method to fund their protection and enhancement.” [Note: For more information, contact Paul Senseman at 602-542-1342.]