By Logan Layden-State Impact-Oklahoma
Norman, OK – Oklahoma hasn't shuttered a state park in nine years, and it's been 20 years since we've seen the scope of parks closures announced in early 2011.
In March, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department said it would close seven state parks, reducing its park total to 35 from 42. The department's Executive Director Deby Snodgrass said the move would save taxpayers about $660,000 per year.
A man rides an ATV across the sand at Beaver Dunes, a former state park recently acquired by the City of Beaver.
The department has had its budget cut by more than 22 percent since 2009, and was anticipating its budget to shrink another 3 percent this year, Snodgrass said.
Six of the seven doomed parks were in eastern Oklahoma.
Much more on this story in our "State Impact" Section