Viewpoint: Don’t tolerate the closing of state parks

[Source: Roxanne Cary Cheney, Eastern Arizona Courier, 3-17-2010] — I want to commend Diane Saunders for her March 7 article about the potential closure of Roper Lake.  However, I need to clarify some of the data.  Roper Lake is budgeted for four full-time employees.  If Roper Lake closes, it will cost Graham County about $5 million in lost revenue and about 70-80 jobs.  That loss cannot be tolerated!  Do the legislators and governor hope to make a ghost town out of our fair community?

Additionally, the governor has now stolen the Heritage Funds and directed them toward her bottomless pit (of a) mismanaged budget.  The Arizona State Parks Board Heritage Fund was established in November 1990 by voter initiative and provides up to $10 million annually to Arizona State Parks from Arizona Lottery proceeds (A.R.S. §41-503).  Another $10 million annually goes to the Department of Game and Fish to conserve natural resources and protect endangered species.  This portends the ultimate lifeline for State Parks.  Do our state administrators have any answers for the one lucrative revenue source they are killing?  Yes, they will let private companies manage a few of the parks, as it works so well in California State Parks.  This is NOT true.  Californians can pay up to $70 for the luxury of going to a mismanaged and dirty state park that is now managed through a concessionaries contract.  Do not let this happen. Flood your legislators with letters or phone calls.

Please call your legislators today and let them know you will not tolerate the elimination of the state parks as we know them today.  If you would like to be a part of the ongoing fight to save our state parks, please join the Friends for Roper Lake.  You can contact me at 775-230-2225 or