Government debt is forcing states to reduce or eliminate budgets intended for care of state parks. Arizona has been in the news recently for their attempt to close the majority of their state parks. Fortunately, the citizen’s desire to keep their state parks open resulted in talks between the state and individual towns.
Of the dozens of parks assigned to be closed, only four have ended up closed for the summer. Because of frustrations about the impending park closures, townspeople entered into a dialogue with the state and ended up with the state parks being put in their hands for management. Class A RV owners often winter in warm weather states such as Arizona and Texas where campgrounds saw an increase in visitors this past winter.
New York State made a bold move when they closed 80 parks in February of this year. Governor David A. Paterson spoke to the issue when he declared the monetary debt of New York made it necessary to pull money from several resources. The $ 8.2 million deficit has forced a reduction in funding for schools, hospitals and nursing homes. Paterson’s reasoning was if these resources had to sacrifice, then so too did parks and historical sites. The Governor did state that he hoped talks would happen within the Legislature regarding the parks issue.
Across the country in California, Governor Schwarzenegger thought closing state parks would be an easy way to save some money. However, Californian’s love of the outdoors became apparent when protests were sparked across the state. One such protest had people finishing a 260-mile hike from Bakersfield to Sacramento. The goal is to preserve California’s future.
Millions of people head out to enjoy their state parks every year. All that visiting brings in tourism dollars to the tune of $ 255 million. Money from state parks goes to pay taxes and helps local economies.
Class A RV enthusiasts generally have an affluent lifestyle and now is not a time to be turning away their dollars. Industries bringing in money should be nurtured to help pay back the debt instead of closing parks and losing out on potential income.
Closing state parks may be shooting the states in the foot. There is still enough protected space out there to satisfy nature lovers. However, there’s nothing to say Class A RV enthusiasts won’t turn their loyalties to parks that remain open through financially good times and bad.
People drawn to RVs are often those who were exposed to RVing at an early age. That translates into generations of spending, and there’s not a state in the union that should be foolish enough to pass that up.