Restore Full Funding for the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund in 2023!

Arizona’s local, regional, and state parks and recreation facilities are economic development generators that encourage the spending of tourist dollars, attract businesses whose workforce choose jobs in locations with quality of life benefits, strengthen community cohesion, and increase property values. Historic preservation initiatives in our rural communities and urban areas promote economic development by creating jobs, revitalizing historic areas, increasing property values, and promoting heritage tourism.

The Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund served Arizona well from 1991 to 2008 and again, starting in 2021, with its support for parks, historic preservation, non-motorized trails, and outdoor and environmental education. It is the goal of the Arizona Heritage Alliance to encourage state officials to restore full funding for the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund in 2023. During the fiscal year 2021 and 2022 grant cycles, the demand has exceeded expectations, so full funding is essential.

Help us achieve our goal!

* CHICK HERE  to add your name to the list of Arizonans who care deeply about our state’s natural, cultural, and historic resources and encourage full funding for the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund through its original funding source, the Arizona Lottery.

* CONTACT your newly-elected legislators asking them to support the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund in the next legislative session. Since the election results are still coming in (as of 11-13-22), contact information for new legislators has yet to be finalized. To find your legislator, visit: https://www.azleg.gov/findmylegislator/

* FOLLOW the Alliance’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/azheritage

* INVITE the Alliance to make a presentation at an organization you represent. Drop us a note at mail@azheritage.org 

With graditude, thank you for your continuing support.

Arizona Heritage Alliance Board of Directors

Heritage Fund HALF Full!

Article by Jim McPherson, President of the Arizona Preservation Foundation and Vice-President of the Arizona Heritage Alliance – July 6, 2022.

While the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund appropriations was cut in half from $5 million last fiscal year to $2.5 million this fiscal year, the State Legislature and Governor approved other significant funding for parks, trails, historic preservation, and wildlife conservation. Over and above funding for the staffing and operations of Arizona Game & Fish and Arizona State Parks & Trails (the two state agencies that the Arizona Heritage Alliance advocates for every day), investments were made for the following initiatives:

  • Historic Resources: Arizona Historical Society; Arizona Mining, Mineral & National Resources Museum; Arizona Pioneers’ Home; Fort Whipple Homeless Veterans Housing; Prescott Historical Society; State Capitol Renovations; historic building renovations at Jerome State Historic Park, Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, and Tonto Natural Bridge State Park; Arizona Dude Ranch Registry; and State Archives Born Digital Record Preservation Study.
  • Natural Resources: Arizona Trail; campground, solar shade, smartphone accessibility, and water conservation projects at state parks statewide; specific improvements at Catalina State Park, Dead Horse State Park, and Rockin’ River Ranch State Park; and mitigation of drought conditions affecting wildlife and sportsfish.

In addition, the Alliance has always supported the leveraging of funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) with all related grant programs managed by state and local governments. The Alliance applauds the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of the Interior that $5,695,464 from the LWCF will be invested in Arizona for outdoor recreation and conservation efforts, strengthening public lands and waters, building new outdoor spaces, and expanding access to outdoor recreation.

The Alliance thanks the thousands of Arizonans who called, wrote, emailed, texted, and used the Legislature’s Request to Speak service this past legislative session to voice their support of the State Parks Heritage Fund and Arizona’s historic and natural resources overall.

Information for 2022 Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund

Thank you for supporting the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund.  On June 28, 2022, the Governor signed the 2022/2023 Budget which included an one-time appropriation of $2.5 million to fund the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund.  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 6.29.2022)

2021/2022 Estimated Totals of ASP Heritage Fund and ARAP grant awards (as of 6.29.2022)

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

 

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.