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Remember: State Parks Lost.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

State Parks Lost.

What wonderful news greeted me in the Morning Call this morning! Plastered across the front of the paper the line “State Parks in Peril” stretched ominously in bold accompanied by a picture of a forest touched by autumn. I reposted a warning from the DCNR about this inevitability a few months ago detailing the incredible ripple effect of loss that would be felt across communities if state parks were closed.

It has yet to be determined which parks will be closed and it sounds like the decision will have to be made park by park based on who can survive the budget cuts. The Morning Call article also made it apparent that this problem began before the economy nosedived. It is a real pity that the majority of the public in this state learns only of this story now that it is too late to do anything about it.

Parks will be closed. There are stipulations in our budget that will allow our Governor to explore protected and unprotected forests in Pennsylvania for natural gas exploration. If I put two and two together, I do not imagine that these things are entirely unrelated. I would guess that closed parks will be explored for timber, for gas, for whatever profit can be made by sacrificing nature.

Nothing good will come from this. The DCNR has documented the loss of tourist money in communities near to state parks. The money made from that tourism is noble. The generations of stewards and rangers that have been in the employ of Pennsylvania’s park system are threatened. The general good will that exists because of state parks is endangered. Why?

Were there no other options? Did State Representatives offer a cut of their salaries to save some of these places? Are state parks able to be turned over to county or municipalities for maintenance and operation? I don’t know the answer to these questions and they do not matter now. Perhaps this Monday afternoon while Ed Rendell is on Comcast SportsNet doing his weekly gig as Eagles commentator, someone can call in and ask. I guess that since there are no state parks that the Eagles use he doesn’t care.

If there is a way to save the parks, to raise the money needed to hire the staff that has been cut and cut and cut over the last few years, somebody tell somebody. Otherwise, the state of Pennsylvania is setting a dangerous precedent that it will be incredibly hard to come back from. Here in Allentown, we must keep vigilant regarding our parks. God knows, if the city ever decides to close them, there won’t be much left in Allentown worth seeing.

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2 Comments:

Blogger michael molovinsky said...

last year ed rendell handed out $34million walk around money in large cardboard checks for little more than public relations. considering what is coming home to roost now, how sad is that?

October 24, 2009 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger LVCI said...

Andrew, I think I have a viable solution. See: In LVCI's World- THE STIMULUS

But then who the hell ever listens to me!

October 24, 2009 at 11:34 AM  

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