Fate of Arizona’s state parks to be discussed, April 3

[Source: Casey Newton, Arizona Republic] — The fate of eight state parks will be up for discussion Friday when the Arizona State Parks Board meets to discuss cost-cutting moves.  Like most state agencies, the parks board has seen its budget cut dramatically over the past 12 months.  The agency must close a $3 million budget deficit by the end of June.

Three state parks already have closed indefinitely to allow for repairs and to save money.  Eight more state parks could shut down depending on the board’s vote Friday: Homolovi Ruins, Oracle, Yuma Quartermaster Depot, Tubac Presidio, Fort Verde, Lyman Lake, Riordan Mansion, and Red Rock.

Alternatives to closing the parks indefinitely include seasonal closings, reduced days or hours of operation and layoffs.  “Anything can happen,” parks spokeswoman Ellen Bilbrey said.

The board meets at 11:30 a.m., Friday, April 3 at the Carnegie Center, 1101 W. Washington St., Phoenix.