Arizona’s state parks are in ‘imminent crisis’

[Source: Arizona Rural Headlines Examiner.com, 10-23-2009] – Arizona’s 31 state parks are in “imminent crisis” and face closure and irreparable deterioration unless new and sustainable funding is established, parks officials and supporters warned at a news conference Thursday to release a special report, “The Price of Stewardship: The Future of Arizona State Parks.”

The 46-page report was prepared by Morrison Institute for Public Policy, an independent, non-partisan center for public policy research, analysis and public outreach. Morrison Institute is part of the Arizona State University College of Public Programs.

“State parks are hard assets that we as a state own, and they are deteriorating rapidly,” said Grady Gammage Jr., senior research fellow at Morrison Institute and member of Governor’s Sustainable State Parks Task Force. “There’s about $200 million in deferred maintenance and really so very desperate needs. There are walls collapsing. There are sewage systems in the parks that are not compliant with legal requirements. Those kind of things are not being taken care of,” Gammage said, noting that Arizona’s state parks budget has been cut to literally nothing. [to read the full article click here].