[Source: Dan Engler, Editor, Verde Valley News] — During the past month the rallying cry from the folks at Arizona State Parks is that the Legislature does not care about the state parks system. By the same token, it’s also fair to say that Arizona State Parks does not care much about the communities in which their parks reside. In early February, State Parks Director Ken Travous recommended to his board that five state parks in Arizona be closed immediately followed by three more later in the year. Included among those parks initially recommended for closure was Fort Verde State Park in Camp Verde.
The Parks Board was not so convinced that it should take such drastic measures, even though the state is broke and there are few state parks in Arizona that generate profit-making revenue. Nearly three weeks later, Travous announced that he was sticking to his guns about the necessity for closing some of Arizona’s state parks, and among those topping the list this time around was Jerome State Historic Park and Red Rock State Park in Sedona. He made his announcement on a Thursday, and one day later it was a done deal. [Note: To read the full editorial, click here. To read a reader’s opposing viewpoint, click here.]