Havens of nature, Arizona’s history fall to cuts

[Source: Arizona Daily Star, Doug Kreutz, 1-24-2010] — Wildflower lovers might want to plan a farewell visit to Picacho Peak State Park this spring — even if it’s not a banner year for blooms.  The park, a mecca for fans of wildflower color, is scheduled to close June 3 — and officials don’t know.  “Voting to close these parks was one of the hardest moments of my life,” said Reese Woodling, a Tucson resident and chairman of the Arizona State Parks Board.  “I love Arizona and I love our parks.  To see this happening just makes me sick to my stomach.”  When, or if, it will reopen.

Picacho Peak, about 40 miles northwest of Tucson, is one of 13 state parks slated for closure in a phased sequence from Feb. 22 to June 3.  Other Southern Arizona parks closing their gates are Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, Roper Lake State Park, and Lost Dutchman State Park.  The reason: a budget shortfall of $8.6 million.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]