Governor Jan Brewer Announces Appointments to State Parks Board

Governor Jan Brewer announced the appointments of Mark Brnovich and R.J. Cardin to the Arizona State Parks Board.

“Mark and R.J. are dedicated public servants with a diversity of experience that will benefit users of Arizona’s beautiful system of State Parks,” said Governor Brewer. “Mark is well-versed in the law, and has spent years working to help government operate more efficiently. R.J. has invested his career in parks and recreation, so he’s well-prepared to confront the challenges and opportunities facing State Parks. Together, both men will help ensure Arizona’s thirty state parks remain crown jewels for the people to enjoy.”

Since 2009, Mr. Brnovich has been Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming. Previously, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the District of Arizona (2007-‘09); Senior Director of State Customer Relations for Corrections Corporation of America (2005-’07); Judge Pro Tem for the Maricopa County Superior Court (2004-’08); and Director of the Center for Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute (2003-’05); Assistant Attorney General (1998-2003); and Deputy County Attorney for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (1992-1998).

Mr. Brnovich earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law (1991), and graduated cum laude from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s in Political Science (1988).

Mr. Cardin’s career in parks and recreation spans 25 years. He has been Director of the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department since 2006, a role in which he is responsible for all facets of parks operations and development for the Nation’s largest regional park system.

Earlier, Mr. Cardin worked as: Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Glendale (2001-’06); Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Sioux City, Iowa (1998-2001); Chief of Park Operations (1998), Chief of Research and Marketing (1994-’98) and Recreation Planner (1991-’94) for Arizona State Parks; Research Assistant for the Department of Recreation Management and Tourism at Arizona State University (1989-’91); General Manager of the Ballard Golf and Country Club in Huxley, Iowa (1988-’89); and Manager of Operations at Sheldon Country Club in Sheldon, Iowa (1986-’88).

Mr. Cardin holds a Master of Science in Recreation Management and Tourism from ASU (1993), as well as a Bachelor’s of Science in both Recreation Management and Business Administration from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa (1987).
Mr. Brnovich joins the Arizona State Parks Board for a term that expires in January 2019; he replaces Tracey Jo Westerhausen. Mr. Cardin replaces William C. Scalzo on the Board, and will serve until January 2017. Both appointments require Senate confirmation.

Arizona moving to use conservation money before vote

[Source: Arizona Capitol Times, Paul Davenport] – Arizona parks officials and local governments in the Phoenix and Flagstaff areas are moving to spend up to $52 million of land conservation money that legislators envisioned being used instead to help keep the budget in the black.

The state Parks Board on Wednesday voted to award grants to Coconino County and the cities of Phoenix and Scottsdale for separate purchases of large parcels of state trust land for preservation as open space. The $52 million would come from a decade-old land conservation fund authorized by a voter-approved 1998 ballot measure that is now the subject of a new ballot measure that appears as Proposition 301 on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

Under the Growing Smarter conservation program, public and private entities can get state funding for purchases of trust land for conservation purposes. The purchaser must provide a match to the state funding [to read the full article click here].

Study outlines options for state park funding

[Source: Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services 10-22-2009] – The state park system needs an infusion of outside cash, possibly from a surcharge on vehicle license taxes, to keep it from collapsing, according to a new report.  The study, done for the Arizona Parks Foundation by the Morrison Institute at Arizona State University concludes that the revenues collected from users is insufficient to properly maintain and operate the parks, much less acquire new properties. And the supplement the system used to get in state tax dollars from the Legislature has all but dried up as lawmakers divert the dollars for other priorities.

So the report suggests a host of other ways to raise the $40 million a year that Parks Director Renee Bahl said is probably necessary not just to keep the gates open at the existing parks but to also catch up on overdue maintenance and put some money aside for future purchases [to read this full article click here].

Local PBS station airs segment on plight of Arizona State Parks

[Source: Horizon, KAET, Ted Simons, 9-30-2009] — As PBS and Ken Burns examine the rich scenic and cultural values of our national parks, KAET’s Horizon focuses its lens on Arizona State Parks.  We’ll preview an upcoming report from ASU’s Morrison Institute that considers the role and future of Arizona’s 30 State Parks.  Guests include State Parks Director, Renee Bahl; State Parks Board member, Bill Scalzo; and Morrison Institute’s Grady Gammage, Jr. who also serves on the Sustainable State Parks Task Force.  [Note: to watch the segment, click here.]