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State Parks Get Hit in Budgets

201003-b-mtdiablostatepark5jpgUSA Today |  An Arizona road that once led to the ruins of the ancient Hopi Native American civilization now dead-ends at a shut gate.

"Due to budget reductions," a sign reads, "park closed." [....]

Homolovi Ruins officially closed Feb. 22, victim of a state budget deficit that led Arizona lawmakers to cut parks funding last year by 61%.

Homolovi is part of the first in a wave of closures that by June are planned to padlock 21 of the state's 30 parks, leaving people far fewer places to explore the history and beauty of Arizona.

Arizona is one of many states struggling to balance recreational values and budget crises: Lawmakers in at least a dozen states have contemplated the closure of up to 400 state parks this year, according to a National Association of State Park Directors survey, says Philip McKnelly, the association's executive director.

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Photo courtesy of Lyndsey Matthews


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