Oklahoma may close 16 state parks, due to budget crisis

Mar 14, 2017

Red Rock Canyon State Park
Credit KFOR

Oklahoma’s budget crisis brought more potential bad news this week, as it was announced that budget cuts could cause many state parks to close across the state.

As KFOR reports, the state tourism industry is hunkering down as Oklahoma announced yet another round of deep cuts to state funding.

Over the last eight years, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department has seen its funding cut by a total of almost 40 percent. If these new cuts are passed, the state will lose 16 state parks, one state golf course, 80 full-time employees, a travel information center, and the magazine known as Oklahoma Today.

Oklahoma now finds itself with a budget gap of almost a billion dollars, after offering deep tax cuts to the oil industry. When the oil downturn came, the corporate tax cuts left the state without “rainy day fund,” and now the state’s parks and schools are paying the price.