Tuesday, March 14, 2017

State Parks, Jobs, Magazine Endangered by Budget Crisis

Greenleaf State Park, south of Braggs, is one of the state parks being considered 
for closure due to the state’s budget crisis. 

Two area state parks, among others, 80 full-time employees, a state golf course and the “Oklahoma Today” magazine are in danger of falling due to the state’s financial crisis.

The State Tourism and Recreation Department recently told staff members to be prepared for the worst, which means losing jobs, the state parks including Greenleaf State Park south of Braggs and Cherokee Landing south of Tahlequah, the golf course, magazine and Miami Travel Information Center.

The proposed state park closings include:

Talimena

Great Plains State Park

Cherokee Landing State Park

Natural Falls State Park

Red Rock Canyon State Park

Great Salt Plains State Park

Lake Eufaula State Park

Lake Wister State Park

Alabaster Caverns State Park

McGee Creek State Park

Foss Lake State Park

Osage Hills State Park

Greenleaf State Park

Lake Texoma State Park

Grand Lake State Park

Grand Cherokee Golf Course

Boiling Springs State Park

Since 2009, the department has seen a 38 percent budget cut, totaling about $13.5 million, Leslie Blair, department spokeswoman, told the media.

She said tourism is the state’s third largest industry.

But, the parks could stay open. They could be handed on to municipalities, similar to when Brushy State Park became a Sallisaw park. They could also be handed over to organizations such as the Cherokee Nation, which recently took over Sequoyah’s Cabin from the State Historical Society.


Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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 Green Leaf Properties

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