Ariz. to close 13 parks by June due to budget woes

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PHOENIX (AP) — An oversight board has voted unanimously to close 13 of Arizona’s state parks in response to budget cuts.

The move by the Arizona State Parks Board on Friday will keep two-thirds of the state’s parks shuttered. That marks the most aggressive cuts to such facilities in the nation.

Some of Arizona’s iconic Old West landmarks will be closed, including the Tombstone Courthouse and the Yuma Territorial Prison. The decision also closes parks such as Red Rock State Park in Sedona that draw tens of thousands of tourists a year.

The Legislature has cut 61 percent of the state parks budget since July. Parks Board member Walter Armer says the board has no other options but to close parks.

Board members say they hope the cuts are temporary.