Our View: Don’t Kill Arizona’s State Parks Board Now

Picacho Peak State Park

Arizona Forward: Open Letter to Their Members

Source:  Email blast from Arizona Forward, February 8, 2017

The Arizona Legislature is considering a bill that includes a repeal the Arizona State Parks Board (HB2369), which we strongly oppose.  As part of Arizona Forward’s historic advocacy of parks and open space, as well as our work in creating a primer on the economic benefits of Arizona’s natural assets, we have registered our opposition to this measure and encourage you to do the same!

The State Parks Board provides citizens’ oversight to State Parks and is composed of people with various backgrounds, including recreation, tourism, and livestock, as well as the general public. Its purpose is to “select, acquire, preserve, establish, and maintain areas of natural features, scenic beauty, historical and scientific interest, and zoos and botanical gardens for the education, pleasure, recreation, and health of the people….”

On February 2, 2017, the House Government Committee voted 5-3-0 to repeal the Arizona States Park Board. I testified against the measure and will keep you updated as it moves the legislative process. Elimination of this important board will result in less transparency, fewer opportunities for public engagement on a broad level, and one less entity to advocate for a parks system badly in need of more advocates.

Please take action by sending a message to your state representatives today! If you are not sure who your legislators are, go to Find My Legislator and click on the link where you enter your address. You can then select legislators to find their contact information. Be sure to leave a message with an assistant or on voicemail.

We must be good stewards of these amazing resources, and need your help to ensure that happens!





President & CEO
Arizona Forward

Since the publication of this letter, HB2369 is scheduled to be heard by the House Rules Committee on Monday, February 13, 2017 at 12:45 p.m. in HHR4.  Here is a link to the agenda. 

Historic preservation & heritage in 98th Arizona Town Hall report

[Source: Jim McPherson, President of the Board of Directors, Arizona Preservation Foundation] – The recently-concluded 98th Arizona Town Hall, “Capitalizing on Arizona’s Arts and Culture,” includes broad statements and specific recommendations related to Arizona’s history, heritage, historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and neighborhood and community revitalization ~ all intertwined and compatible with the arts and culture community.

The final report and priority actions were just released this afternoon and are available for review and download here: http://www.aztownhall.org/pdf/98th_Final_Recommendations.pdf

The background report, skillfully edited by ASU Art History Professor Betsy Fahlman, includes numerous references to the importance of Arizona’s heritage and built environment and several chapters themselves focus on preservation-related topics: Architecture and Sense of Place (Will Bruder); Artists and the Revitalization of Downtown Phoenix (Greg Esser); Historic Preservation (Debbie Abele); Museums (Alberto Rios); Placemaking and Social Capital (Kimber Lanning and Philip Allsopp); Preserve, Adapt, Restore, or Build Cultural Facilities (Shelley Cohn); and Tourism and Cultural Heritage (Dallen Timothy).  You can review and download it here: http://aztownhall.org/pdf/98th_Background_Report.pdf

Several of my fellow Town Hall participants will be attending the 9th Annual Arizona Historic Preservation Conference in Tucson next month.  We’ll be happy to share further detail about what transpired this past week at the 98th Arizona Town Hall.