Blogs » Man Bites Dog » Texas parks department's rebound from drought, wildfire and budget cuts

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Around this time last year, wildfires ravaged much of Texas. The death, destruction and devastation they caused was felt throughout the country. With Victoria's record-breaking temperatures Tuesday, it looks like The Crossroads is gearing up for another scorcher while the impact from last year is still fresh on our minds.

Texas Tribune posted an article Wednesday about the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's continued struggle with drought, fires and budget cuts. The Crossroads has not been insulated from the issue.

In an effort to cut spending, TWPD put holds on hiring and relinquished control of Lake Texana State Park in Edna, which it leased from the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority for the past 30 years. If the Legislature maintains the same amount of funding, or lowers it, more parks could be relinquished. Although it has raised about $1.7 million through a fundraising campaign launched in December to help close a $4.6 million budget gap, about $3 million is still needed, the Tribune reported.

The full report is here, but the gist of it is this: If you value Texas' parks, the best way to show support is to use them!

While school is out, why not load up your family and friends, your church youth group, or even a group of colleagues and head out to Goliad State Park, Palmetto State Park in Gonzales, Mustang Island State Park in Port Aransas or Goose Island State Park in Rockport? Here's a link to TWPD's top 10 overlooked state parks. Is it surprising Goliad made the list?

Youth today spend an alarming amount of time indoors, behind a computer or in front of the TV. Whether it's forgetting the tackle box or catching the biggest fish, I encourage the community to make it their goal to create some lasting memories this summer and visit a state park.