|WHEREAS, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation’s membership includes a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts who participate in activities such as camping, hiking, birding, fishing, canoeing, and nature study that are offered in Louisiana’s outstanding state park system managed by Louisiana Office of State Parks (OSP) and State Historical Sites in the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism; and
WHEREAS, the budget for Office of State Parks has been cut by 40% over 10 years and has been threatened with another round of budget cuts for fiscal year 2016-2017 that could include cutbacks in operations and consideration of closure of some parks; and
WHEREAS, Louisiana State Parks has in recent years seen a buildup of deferred maintenance in many parks and an end to development of new parks, thereby jeopardizing the excellence of the entire system that supports and promotes tourism and provides quality outdoor recreation for Louisiana residents and visitors; and
WHEREAS, the state parks have traditionally charged low admission and user fees compared to fees for similar services and facilities offered in the private sector, but this may not be optimizing potential revenue from fees during peak demand at some state parks with high visit rates.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the LWF urges the Legislature to maintain funding for the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism to support the Office of State Parks in adequately providing funding for operations and management, including deferred maintenance, that preserves the state’s investment in Louisiana State Parks and other properties managed by the Office of State Parks, and to provide adequate funding to reopen all other properties previously closed due to budget cuts.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the LWF urges the Legislature to give the Office of State Parks authority to modify its fee structures to reflect varying demand for park facilities and to retain any increased fee income for application to the maintenance and operation of parks and other properties managed by the Office of State Parks.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the LWF urges the Legislature to give the Office of State Parks authority to evaluate and implement public-private partnerships/concessions for new or expanded services in the parks, from which the Office of State Parks would receive a share of revenues that would be retained for use by OSP.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, August 20, 2016 in Bossier City, Louisiana.
|Submitted By:||Charles Williams, District 6 At-large Director|
|LWF Committee:||Habitat Conservation and Management|
Support for Increased Funding to Maintain and Operate Louisiana State Parks and Other Properties Managed by The Office of State Parks
|Resolution #:||02B, 2016|