|Not a real image…but will we see something like this in 2012?|
The other day I read about Fedural budget cuts that will have a profound effect on trails. The U.S. House budget proposal would reduce funding for trails, parks, and land conservation by 90% out of the Land and Water Conservation Fund – virtually eliminating funds that are appropriated to states. Other proposed cuts will limit funds for construction, maintenance, and other supporting programs on federal public lands such as National Forests, National Parks and more. (Thank you Smokey Mountain Hiking Blog for warning us.)
While the House considers these proposals Texas State Government is having its own budget crisis. Initial budget bills from the Texas House and Senate would cut TPWD’s biennial budget by about 25 percent, approximately $160-$165 million lower then 2010-11 levels. This is likely to close or greatly reduce operations at some state parks; suspend repairs and maintenance at state parks and wildlife management areas, allow no spending for new equipment or land acquisition and eliminate 300 TPWD job.
The House suggests TPWD close two state parks division regional offices and close or transfer seven state parks to local cities or counties. It is unlikely that local communities will want to take on any parks leaving them closed until funds improve.
What will this mean for Texas recreation if seven state parks are lost. What does it mean for the newly acquired Devils River Ranch? Will the state have funds to open the park within its two year master plan’s schedule? I guess only time will tell.
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