Oklahoma

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Robbers Cave State Park in southeastern Oklahoma is one of the state's most popular parks.

Budget Cuts Mean Fewer State Parks

Background

Oklahoma’s state parks, lodges, golf courses and travel information centers are managed by the Parks Division, which is organized within the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation.

OakleyOriginals / Flickr

Robbers Cave State Park in southeastern Oklahoma is one of the state's post popular parks.

The tourism department has suffered a 22 percent budget cut since 2009, and officials in 2011 announced plans to close or transfer seven state parks, a move that Executive Director Deby Snodgrass said would save taxpayers $700,000 a year.

The parks were sparsely attended, generated little revenue from activity fees, and often duplicated amenities of more popular parks nearby, Snodgrass said.

Cities ended up taking over five of the parks; American Indian tribes assumed management of the other two.

Currently, Oklahoma has 35 official state parks.

Appropriation for State Parks
FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION
2011 $11,117,884
2010 $10,222,308
2009 $11,486,806
2008 $12,827,001
2007 $14,541,892
Source: Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation data.

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