The following is a statement from the Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma’s board chair, Ron Suttles, on the possible closing of 16 state parks in Oklahoma:
The Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma is very concerned about the “hypothetical” budget cuts to the Department of Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation. This negative ripple effect of closing 16 state parks is far worse than the budgetary savings potentially provided by such an action.
These parks provide habitat for wildlife, a place for all Oklahoman’s to enjoy the great outdoors, jobs, and they feed the local economies of the towns near the parks.
This decision should not be taken lightly by the legislature. If these parks are closed it will cost the state far more in the future to re-open them once the state finds itself in a better financial position. We encourage fiscal responsibility, but closing these parks would not be smart money management by the state of Oklahoma.