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State Parks May Close Under Proposed Budget

State parks officials may be forced to close seven state parks due to a $12 million budget gap, the Texas Tribune reported yesterday. Texas Parks and Wildlife requested an additional $18.9 million from the sporting goods sales tax to keep all 91 parks operational, but preliminary House and Senate budgets released Tuesday only allotted an additional $6.9 million. The sales tax funds would be in addition to the department’s base budget of $507 million.

Parks and Wildlife executive director Carter Smith told the Star-Telegram it “is simply way too premature to talk about park closures…This is simply the first serve in a long tennis game.” No specific parks were mentioned; the state’s 10 most popular parks, according to the department, include:

Garner SP
Inks Lake SP
Dinosaur Valley SP
Pedernales Falls SP
Balmorhea SP
Guadalupe River SP
Enchanted Rock SNA
McKinney Falls SP
Ray Roberts Lake SP
Mustang Island SP

Nearly all of the most popular parks are located in the central part of the state; Ray Roberts Lake is the only North Texas park on the list.

  • oldeadeye

    Well, then, damn. Where are all our new Texans from New York going to go shoot their assault rifles, bazookas and other firearms?

  • Matthew Taylor

    This article has been linked on

  • Jason Heid

    I think of Dinosaur Valley State Park by Glen Rose as North Texas too.

  • Judas Priest

    I believe Cedar Hill State Park is usually among the state’s busiest each year as well – and it’s only ~20 miles from downtown Dallas.

  • Scott Strong

    I don’t understand how Balmorhea is on this list.