Support Your State Parks at Lakepoint!
Tomorrow, June 27, Lakepoint State Park in Eufaula is hosting Baumhower’s Shrimp & BBQ Fest to raise money for Alabama’s State Parks system. Beginning at 4pm, the event will feature Alabama Gulf seafood, live music, and entertainment for kids. You can buy your tickets in advance for $15 by calling 334-687-8011, or purchase them at the event for $20. All proceeds from this event will go toward funding state parks’ operations. This is a great way to enjoy our beautiful parks while also helping to support them.
As a reminder, the 2015 Legislative Session ended earlier this month without passing a General Fund budget for our state. Currently, significant funding is slated to be cut from the state parks system along with many other state agencies and services. The legislature will return later this summer for a special session to work on a new General Fund budget to implement before the new fiscal year begins on October 1. Conservation Alabama is committed to making sure all our state parks stay funded and operational.
On Thursday, the Forever Wild Land Trust Board had its quarterly meeting in Huntsville. At the meeting, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Gunter Guy answered questions about a proposal by Sen. Clay Scofield (R-Arab) that would use the Forever Wild Land Trust to provide an influx of cash to the state parks system. Commissioner Guy reiterated the statement he has made in the past when discussing Sen. Scofield’s suggestion, which is that there are “some legal obstacles and some practical obstacles” to it.
In 2012 Alabama’s voters went to the polls and overwhelmingly reauthorized Forever Wild for another 20 years with over 75% of the vote. During this year’s budget crisis and threat to our state parks, more than 1700 messages were sent to our Governor and state legislators asking our elected officials to preserve state park funding. Alabamians have consistently told state leaders that public lands are a top priority. The Forever Wild Land Trust program is designed to purchase and preserve public lands in our state. The program should not be used to bail out our state’s budget problems.
As the legislature returns to Montgomery later this summer for the special session, we’ll keep you updated on the progress being made on the state’s budget and our work to make sure Alabama’s state parks stay open and accessible.