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life in rural nebraska

State parks across the U.S. face the axe

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As we’ve chronicled in the ongoing efforts to Save Fort Hartsuff, we’re not alone in the fight to preserve our parks.  California alone nearly closed 220 of its 279 state parks.  I would say that in Nebraska, we’re rather fortunate.  You can get the full read from TIME here.  A couple interesting examples:

Of the seven state park systems that are not tethered to their General Funds, Oregon finances its parks with money from the state lottery. Maryland uses a 0.5% tax on all real estate transactions to fund its parks. Similar initiatives exist in Missouri, which dedicates a fraction of the sales tax to parks, and Texas, which applies an extra tax to sporting goods and recreational equipment.

Non-profit organizations and individuals can help ease the burden for parks, saving states money by volunteering for typically salaried jobs such as trail maintenance and trash patrol. Such is the case at Schodack Island State Park near Albany, N.Y. When the state announced last year plans to close the park for three winter months, local residents banded together and lobbied the state to let them assume responsibility for certain everyday operations and keep it open year-round.

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Written by Caleb

August 3, 2009 at 3:50 am

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