[Source: Verde Independent, Steve Ayers 2-2-2010] — About 40 supporters from the Verde Valley, joined by at least 150 more from around the state, converged on the state capitol Monday urging lawmakers to find a way to keep the Arizona State Park system operating. It was just one of many campaigns organized recently to get the Legislature’s attention and voice opposition to their repeated raids on the agency’s budget.
Not all that long ago the park system had a $30 million budget that funded operations, maintenance and capital improvements to a system of 30 parks and conservation areas. But after two huge cuts by the Legislature, the budget has been cut to $9 million, forcing the closure of all but nine parks by the end of this fiscal year. The citizen-initiated campaigns, however, are beginning to have an effect. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]