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The Price of Stewardship: The Future of Arizona’s State Parks was commissioned by Arizona State Parks and the Arizona State Parks Foundation with funding to the parks department from the private Asta Forrest Bequest. The request to Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University to look at the resource dilemmas facing Arizona’s state park system came before the state’s fiscal situation became so serious and the options for dealing with it so far-reaching. The effort to answer such questions as

  • How can funding be stabilized?
  • How can it be more predictable?
  • Where could money be found for capital improvements?
  • What models have been created in other states that have lessons for Arizona?

was viewed as proactive in the face of negative trends, not as a critical step in a survival plan.

While the principal purpose here is to examine options for stable, sufficient funding, we could not help but think about the nature of the state park system and the agency’s functions.

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