Dear Friends of the Heritage Fund
On behalf of the Arizona Heritage Alliance Board of Directors, I am pleased to let you know that SCR1038 (SCR1038 state parks heritage fund) which seeks to refer to the ballot a measure for Arizona voters to fund the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund through the Arizona Lottery in the amount of $10 million each year has been assigned to the SENATE Natural Resources, Energy, and Water Committee and is on the agenda to be heard this Thursday, February 15, 2024 at 9:00 AM in Room SHR 2. Members of the public may access a livestream of the meeting by clicking here.
Please communicated your position for SCR1038 through the Legislature’s Request to Speak (RTS) system. If you don’t have an account for the Legislature’s Request To Speak System, please link here for detailed instructions.
You can also call or email the 2024 Senate Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee members directly and let them know you want them to SCR 1038 to restore the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund.
|Sine Kerr, Chair
|T.J. Shope – Vice Chair
The Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund has been an invaluable asset in safeguarding our state’s natural and cultural heritage for decades. However, the fund faced significant setbacks in 2010 when legislative actions resulted in its depletion and removal from statute, leaving our parks, historic sites,non-motorized trails, and environmental education initiatives without adequate financial support for essential maintenance and conservation efforts.
While there was a commendable effort to reinstate the State Parks Heritage Fund in 2019 with funding secured for three fiscal years, the current budget constraints have once again left the fund without financial backing. This situation is deeply concerning, particularly considering the vital role our parks and natural areas play in providing recreational opportunities and solace to our communities, especially during the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
SCR1038 presents a crucial opportunity to address this funding gap and ensure the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund receives the resources necessary to fulfill its mission effectively. By reinstating the original $10 million annual allocation from the Arizona Lottery, we can establish a stable and sustainable revenue stream for the preservation of our natural, cultural, and historic resources, aligning with the vision outlined in Arizona Proposition 200.
The benefits of the Fund are evident, with over $89 million in grants reinvested in parks, trails, and cultural sites across Arizona since its inception. These investments, combined with local matching funds, have amounted to $207 million spent on projects statewide, benefiting communities both large and small. The economic impact cannot be overstated, with job creation, environmental conservation, and heritage preservation being tangible outcomes of the Fund’s initiatives.
In light of the economic challenges faced by our local communities, particularly those reliant on tourism, the restoration of the State Parks Heritage Fund is more pertinent than ever. By revitalizing our parks, trails, and historic sites, we can stimulate economic activity, support local businesses, and create sustainable employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas that have been disproportionately affected.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we sincerely appreciate your continued advocacy for the Arizona Heritage Fund. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com or call 602-528-7500.
President, Board of Directors
Arizona Heritage Alliance