In 2011, our state’s park system was cut deeply. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) saw its state parks budget cut by 13%, while the agency’s overall funding cut by 27.9 percent. The agency’s critical maintenance budget took a significant hit. Grants for development and acquisition of new local parks were zeroed out. The agency estimated that it would have to lay off at least 169 employees. All of these cuts were entirely preventable if revenues intended to fund the parks system were used for that purpose.
TLCV-EF has launched a broad-based public interest campaign in Texas, Keep Texas Parks Open, aimed at building support amongst the public, third party allies, non-traditional partners, and elected officials for utilizing the Sporting Goods Sales Tax to fund the Texas State Park System at sufficient levels. This campaign will unite a diverse statewide coalition of stakeholders including conservation, wildlife, and outdoor recreation groups; issue advocacy groups; seniors; parents and teachers; faith based organizations; and minority groups.