Many Massachusetts residents and visitors depend on state parks run by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) as special places for hiking, swimming, camping, and cycling. Recent budget cuts put access to these summer outdoor traditions at risk.
The budget for Massachusetts state parks and recreation areas has been reduced by approximately 30 percent during the last few years, resulting in the loss of nearly 200 staff at DCR and the reduction of many services the agency provides. The Massachusetts House of Representatives restored a small portion of DCR’s operating budget, but the Senate did not include that funding in its original budget. An amendment to the Senate budget would now restore $500,000 to help ensure our parks are staffed, safe, and clean.
We need to urge Massachusetts State Senators to restore this funding because we depend on our parks, beaches and pools to stay active and healthy. Without additional funds, some campgrounds, pools and beaches will be closed and those that stay open will have their seasons shortened by several weeks; park ranger and interpretive staff will be cut; beach trash collection will be reduced; forestry services and police details will be cut; and DCR will have a diminished ability to complete its legislative mandate of establishing Resource Management Plans for its facilities.
This amendment is will be debated this week, so time is of the essence. Your voice is important to your senator, so please call today.
Take Action: Call your State Senator and ask them to support restoration of funding for DCR parks and programs by supporting the Senate amendment for line item 2810-0100. You also can mention your favorite state park or other area that you are most concerned about.
NOTE: You can participate in upcoming workshops to help DCR determine how it will manage its parks in the future. Click here for details and the schedule for the seven workshops around Massachusetts in May and June.
Labels: conservation, Conservation Action Network, Massachusetts