If you want to know the “state” of our State Parks? Just Google “State Park Budget Cuts”, and you will see how bad it really is.

Headlines Read like this:

  • Schwarzenegger Would Close 220 State Parks To Cut Deficit
  • Budget cuts threaten Palomar Mountain State Park
  • Budget cuts to close Bonny Lake State Park offices
  • Budget cuts whomp Georgia’s parks
  • State after State are closing State Parks, or cutting funding. That means no one is maintaining them. In recent years I’ve noticed that some of my local State Parks that were once really nice, now looking tired. Overgrowth, and trails looking like no one has been there for years. This all leads to one question. Will our local State Parks survive? And who is going to manage them?

    Just recently the San Francisco Chronical reported nearly 50 parks, beaches and historic sites in the greater Bay Area region, including Mount Tamalpais, Angel Island and Big Sur, would close under a draft plan outlining how California’s 279 parks would be affected by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget cuts.

    Our State Parks provide an oasis for families and outdoor enthusiasts to take part in nature. It doesn’t matter if you are a backpacker, or a weekend camper, State Parks offer a chance to recharge your batteries, reconnect with your family, or just enjoy the sounds of nature. They offer a little something for everyone. Without them, we loose a part of our earth. We loose a part of our connection with the outdoors. Yes, it takes money to run them. But the whole Appalachian Trail is managed by Volunteers. If the problem is money, than the solution has to be maintaining our parks with volunteers, or at least put a call out. Remember that State Parks bring an economic value to local towns and municipalities. People buy goods and services to enjoy our parks. Govenors around the U.S should take a leadership role to put a call out before they just close them.

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    In Illinois for example:

  • An estimated 44 million people visit Illinois state parks and other state sites annually.
  • Those visitors spend an estimated $500 million in local economies each year.
  • That spending results in an estimated $790 million in overall economic impact supporting nearly 8,500 jobs through out the state.
  • Closing State Parks hurts us all. Call your State Representatives, or the Govenors office and voice your opposition. Whether you live in California, Virginia, Minnasota,Illinois, or pick any State, budget cuts will force State Parks to close. We need your voice!

    Some sites that you can go to:

    http://www.savestateparks.org/

    http://www.standingupforillinois.org/saveourparks/index.php

    http://www.petitiononline.com/WASHPARK/

    You get the idea. There are sites all around in YOUR State to have a voice. Get involved and voice your opposition to closing our beautiful State Parks.

    See You on the Trail

    Editor

    Feel free to contact me at any time. Started Backpacking in 2003 and have never looked back. My all time favorite hike was last April when I hiked the Sycamore Wilderness Canyon. No trails, no signs, just wilderness and a 3,000 foot steep drop into the Canyon. I ran out of water my third day. Why? There was no water in the Canyon. You can check out my video on the "backpacker.tv" page. Thanks for dropping by.

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