State Capitol News
2:39 am
Fri February 20, 2009

Three state parks to close

Phoenix, AZ – The state Parks Board voted this afternoon to close three parks
to save money. But that isn't the end of the cuts.

McFarland Historic State Park in Florence already is closed to
visitors because the building is in disrepair. The board's vote
directed closure of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park near Payson
and Jerome Historic State Park, both of which also require
repairs to buildings.

But the board postponed action on
recommendations to close two others after there were offers of
possible outside financial help. Susan Secakuku said her Hopi
tribe is already working arm-in-arm with the state on projects
for the Homolovi Ruins State Park near Winslow. And Cindy
Krupicka of the Friends of Oracle Park said her group might be
able to come up with $40,000 to save what she said is a magical
place.

"It's right in historical ranching, history. The park also is
rich in geology, vegetation, wildlife habit. It's an
environmental education place for young and old."

But board member Arlon Colton said he thinks what the board did
won't be enough to balance even this year's cuts.

"And I think next year's going to be a disaster. And I think
we're postponing potentially the inevitable because we don't want
to and it feels better."

The board will meet again within weeks to decide what to do next.