27 Arizona State Parks close at Midnight, July 1 due to budget impasse

(Phoenix, AZ — June 30, 2009, updated at 7 pm) – The Arizona State Parks department asked campers to leave 13 State Parks’ campgrounds at 4 p.m. today in order to close down the parks before the midnight deadline for closing all Arizona State Parks. Parks will be closed and not reopen until the department has operating authority.

In order to reduce the economic impact for two rural communities, the Arizona State Parks department staff have signed special use applications with the City of Show Low and the City of Lake Havasu. These agreements would allow each City to operate, monitor, maintain and control the parks.  Show Low’s Fool Hollow Lake State Recreation Area and Lake Havasu State Park (day use only, no camping) will operate under these special use agreements through July 5th or will end when the State Parks’ budget is authorized. Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is also open.

These permits would include the legal and safe parking of all visitors, use and function of the launch ramps, access and maintenance of the restroom facilities, trash pickup, emergency medical response and public safety.  The agreements begin at midnight on June 30 until July 5th.

If there is no operating budget by July 1, 2009 most parks will be closed.  For days the agency is closed, all reservations for Camping Cabins, Yurts, and campsites will be cancelled, and can be rescheduled or refunded.  For days the agency is closed, all Cave Tours at Kartchner Caverns State Park will be cancelled, and can be rescheduled or refunded.

For more information about the 30 State Parks, other hiking opportunities such as hiking all the 550 State Trails, off-highway vehicle trails and other outdoor recreational and cultural opportunities in Arizona, see the website at the Arizona State Parks department at www.AZStateParks.com or call (602) 542-4174.