Without funding, Utah may close some state parks

Oct 24 2011 - 2:47pm

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah officials are warning lawmakers that some state parks will close if they don't get additional funding and more flexibility with fees.

State Parks Director Mary Tullius says the agency needs about $3 million in next year's budget to maintain existing operations.

Tullius said during a legislative committee Wednesday the agency is looking at other options to generate revenue and save money, such as privatizing a golf course.

Republican Rep. Evan Vickers of Cedar City says he is concerned historical or cultural parks will be threatened because they aren't self-sustaining.

Vickers says parks providing an educational benefit should be considered valuable even if they don't make money.

State Director of Natural Resources Michael Styler says parks should be allowed to increase fees during busy periods to boost earnings.

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