[Source: Kathleen Ingley, Arizona Republic] — If you’ve slipped and bumped down the shoot of water at Slide Rock near Sedona. If you’ve watched troops dressed in Civil War uniforms re-create the skirmish at Picacho Peak. If you’ve climbed around Tonto Natural Bridge north of Payson. If you’ve seen the glistening formations at Kartchner Caverns. Then you’ve got a reason to celebrate.
Happy birthday, state parks! Exactly 50 years ago today, Gov. Ernest McFarland signed legislation creating the framework for the parks system. You’ve also got a lot of reasons to feel outraged. Our parks are suffering from a shameful lack of maintenance and capital spending. The budget was gutted five years ago, when the state was in a financial crunch, and funding is just being restored, leaving a huge backlog of repairs. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]