Information for 2022 Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund

Thank you for supporting the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund.  Below is information that you can use to share with your stakeholders, partners and colleagues encouraging them to support the 2022 Heritage Fund bills. Please feel free to email or call us at 602,738.8381 if you have any questions or need more information.

2021 Heritage Fund Report

2022 Heritage Fund Fact Sheet

Support Flyer – Vote Yes on SB1270

List of 2021/2022 ASP Heritage Fund grant awards (as of 5.19.2022)

2021/2022 Estimated Totals of ASP Heritage Fund and ARAP grant awards (as of 5.19.2022)

Arizona Heritage Alliance Email blast – 2022 Legislative Session is Open

Alert:  SB1270 is on AZ Senate Appropriations Committee 2.1.2022 Agenda 

Live Webinar on Background of the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund.

Letter to the Editor by AHA Board Member Natalya Brown – Phoenix Independent

Letter to the Editor by AHA Board Member Natalya Brown – Daily Independent

Letter to the Editor by AHA Board Member Steve Farley – Tucson Daily Star

Guest Column by AHA President Russ Jones  – Yuma Sun

Letter to the Editor by AHA Board Member Bryan Martyn – Daily Independent

Colorado College released the results from their 2022 Conservation in the West Poll. It’s chalk full of resources that you could incorporate into your discussions with decision-makers and communications materials on the benefits of public lands spaces to Arizonans, Here’s a few resources to highlight:

Alert:  SB1270 is on the AZ House Land, Argiculture and Rural Affairs Committee 3.14.2022 Agenda

February 2022 Poll – Arizona Statewide Issues – Prepared for the State Innovation Exchange by TargetSmart

Alert:  SB1270 Still Needs Your Support to Restore the ASP Heritage Fund in the Lottery

FY 2023 Executive Arizona State Parks Budget Handout

 

Letter to Editor – Yumasun.com by AHA President Russell Jones

Letter to Editor submitted by Arizona Heritage Alliance President, Russell Jones – January 20. 2022

The restored Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund needs to be fully-funded by the Legislature this session

For many of us, our most treasured childhood memories are romping in a neighborhood park or taking a hike in Arizona’s wide-open spaces. Every community in our state, regardless of size, has a place where parents and their children picnic; throw, kick, hit, and dunk a ball; or stare in wonderment at Arizona’s unique flora and fauna. These special places provide wholesome outdoor recreation.

Historic downtowns and neighborhoods, where previous generations grew up, went to school, and conducted business, have been restored to their original beauty enabling Arizonans to continue to live near their jobs, schools, and local services.

Urban sprawl and destructive fires have impacted our open spaces, and historic buildings and cultural sites have faced destruction as time, the elements, or neglect have taken their toll.

The Arizona Heritage Fund was created in 1990 as a voter-Initiative which passed with over 62% majority. It directed $10 million annually from state lottery to the State Parks Heritage Fund to be used for local, regional, and state parks; trails and open spaces; and cultural heritage sites.

It also created a separate Arizona Game & Fish Heritage Fund, with its own $10 million annually from state lottery revenues. The Game & Fish Heritage Fund uses its money to protect and manage habitat for Arizona’s wildlife.

Since the creation of the State Parks Heritage Fund 32 years ago, over $89 million in grants have been reinvested in parks, trails, open spaces, and cultural sites in communities across Arizona. With local matching funds added in, $207 million has been spent in projects statewide.

In 2010, the state legislative majority decided — as part of their plan to address severe budget shortfalls during the Great Recession — to repeal the State Parks Heritage Fund. Over the twelve years since the State Parks Heritage Fund was eliminated, the Fund has lost $120 million that should have been used for parks, trails, and cultural sites in accordance with the wishes of the voters.

In the 2019 legislative session, SB1241 was passed with bipartisan support, and signed into law. While SB1241 put the State Parks Heritage Fund back into statute, it did not restore the annual $10 million from Lottery revenues.

In the 2021 session, Representative Joanne Osborne (LD13) introduced a Bill to finance the Fund. Osborne’s Bill received strong public support as well as bipartisan legislative support. Through the final budget negotiation process between the House, Senate, and Governor in June of 2021, the outcome was a one-time appropriation of $5 million for Fiscal Year 2022.

As the 2022 Legislative Session begins, with large Budget surpluses and the Arizona Lottery encumbrances have been repaid and removed, the Board of the Arizona Heritage Alliance, other heritage and environmental stakeholder groups, and hundreds of Arizonans who have communicated their views to the Legislature believe it is time to reinstate the funding to the State Parks portion of the Heritage Fund.

It is time to make Arizona’s precious heritage whole again – now and into the future.

Russ Jones is a former State Representative from Yuma. He is currently President of the Arizona Heritage Alliance and sits on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Power Authority, dealing with the water and power needs of Arizona.

2023 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation (SCORP) Survey

Dear Arizona recreationists, club and community members:

Arizona State Parks and Trails has launched the 2023 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation (SCORP) public survey! Please help us make sure all interested Arizona outdoor recreationists have a chance to be heard.

Public participation by Arizonans over the age of 18 who recreate outdoors is vitally important. Arizona State Parks and Trails is collecting feedback from user groups, the general public, stakeholders, advocates, and recreation providers to develop outdoor recreation priorities for the state for the next five years.

Included is an 8.5×11 poster that can be emailed, printed and posted or distributed. You can use this poster to urge members of your organization, other members of the public, your communities and networks to provide feedback for this plan. If you would like Arizona State Parks and Trails to print some of these materials to send to your organization, or if you have additional questions about this project, please contact Dawn Collins at 602-542-7128 or scorp@azstateparks.gov.

The survey takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete and is available in English and Spanish. The survey links will be active until December 2021.  Click here to access the survey.

Background:

Every five years, the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) must be updated. This plan gathers information and recommendations to guide the management and funding priorities for outdoor recreation in Arizona. Arizona State Parks and Trails is working with Arizona State University and Partners in Brainstorms to produce a well-informed, inclusive plan that will:

  • Guide the distribution of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and other outdoor recreation-related grants, like the Heritage Fund and the State Lake Improvement Fund.
  • Promote a common understanding of state and regional issues, goals, objectives, and actions impacting outdoor recreation interests.
  • Provide a framework for strengthening collaboration among outdoor recreation advocates, providers, elected officials, and others to be more effective in championing and sustaining Arizona’s outdoor recreation opportunities and economies.

Please share this information and thank you for your participation!

PRIMER: Arizona State Parks Contribute To Booming Economy

New Provided by Governor of Arizona, September 30, 2021

From Slide Rock to Lost Dutchman to Catalina, Arizona’s state parks are second to none! Camping, hiking, boating, horseback riding — there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the great outdoors at Arizona’s many state parks.

But the role our parks play goes well beyond mountain trails and pristine lakes. According to recently released numbers, Arizona State Parks and Trails last year supported an estimated 4,200 jobs and contributed $272 million to Arizona’s economy.

Arizona State Parks and Trails, in collaboration with the University of Arizona’s Regional Economic State Park Economic Contribution 06212021 (2) Analysis Program, completed a study on the economic contribution and impacts of Arizona’s state parks for fiscal year 2020.

Highlights from the report:

  • Spending by non-local visitors increased by 20 percent since 2014;

  • Total spending by all visitors to an Arizona state park, including spending in and within 50 miles of parks, exceeded $332 million; and

  • In Mohave County, where parks had the largest economic impact, the parks contributed $83 million in sales and supported 945 jobs.

Governor Ducey took action to make sure state parks remained open to the public during the pandemic, allowing Arizonans and visitors to relax and enjoy the outdoors in a safe and healthy way. This year, the Governor also waived the admission fee to state parks for Easter weekend and ensured that the parks remained open. During that weekend, visitation was up 103 percent compared to 2019, with almost every park seeing an increase in visitors.

Since 2014, there has been a significant increase in overall visits to the parks, along with increased hours of availability and the addition of more park properties. This has led to an increase in visitor spending and an overall positive impact on the state economy.

Residents and visitors to the state continue to choose to explore the great outdoors and the incredible beauty, diversity and opportunity that our parks provide.

Read the full Economic Contribution and Impacts of Arizona State Parks FY2020 report HERE.