Nine State Parks Targeted for Closure or Transfer

8-31-05 - The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will close or transfer nine state parks unless it finds about $2 million more annually in state funding, according to a letter sent to state leaders.

About 40 jobs are at stake, said the letter sent Tuesday from Texas Parks and Wildlife Executive Director Robert L. Cook to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Tom Craddick. In the letter Cook asks for more money from the Legislative Budget Board to save the park jobs.

The request follows the proposed sale of 46,000 acres of Big Bend State Park, which was defeated.

The 10-member board meets Sept. 14 to consider tapping $500 million in available funds that were vetoed from the state budget in June by Gov. Rick Perry. Perry is asking for $295 million to go for public school textbooks.

"While funding limitations are driving the reduction in force in the state parks division, it is important to note that the department has identified nine state park sites which could be transferred to another entity for operation or closed without having a significant constituent impact," Cook wrote.