FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway Mountain Branch
Contact: Wyvonne Phillips, Byway Manager
135 W Main Street, Trinidad, CO 81082
April 16, 2004
Colorado State Parks general funding restored, parks will remain open!
DENVER, CO.On March 23, the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) of the Colorado General Assembly voted to restore the $2.9 million in General Fund to Colorado State Parks.
Colorado State Parks are vital to the economy and quality of life here in Colorado. We will keep all of the parks open and maintain the level of service our visitors have come to expect, said Lyle, Laverty, Director of Colorado State Parks
Colorado State Parks currently serve more than 11 million visitors each year. With 40 parks and more than 4,000 campsite, Colorado State Parks is one of the largest and diverse providers of outdoor recreation in the state. Colorado State Parks also substantially impact local economies by generating an estimated $200 million in expenditures within communities in a 50-mile radius of the parks.
Over the past two years, Colorado State Parks has experienced more than 30 percent in total cuts to its operating budget. These previous reductions required the closure of management offices, the lay off of full-time and seasonal staff, and an increase in user fees. The JBC had recommended a 50 percent reduction in General Fund support to the operating budget of Colorado State Parks, which would have resulted in park closures.
The people of Colorado believe their state parks to be an important service provided by the state. The JBC listened to their constituents and responded. We will continue working with the members of the legislature to ensure the future of Colorados favorite places to play, said Laverty.
The Santa Fe Trail thanks all who helped us with an outpouring of support to keep our state parks open. Thank you to our legislators and JBC for listening and taking the appropriate action.