Target: North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory
Goal: Rescue North Carolina’s historic state parks from years of massive budget cuts.
North Carolina’s state park system, one of the oldest in the United States, is under attack. Over the last decade, funding for state parks in North Carolina has plummeted. In fact, funding for North Carolina’s state parks has been reduced by 80 percent over the last nine years. These parks are meant to represent a commitment to protecting the local environment. However, North Carolina’s political officials are failing to follow through on that commitment. Governor Pat McCrory needs to increase funding for North Carolina’s state parks.
Parks across the state are falling into disrepair, while others still may have to close due to lack of funds. Members of the state Senate and House have even considered charging entrance fees as a response to this situation. Such a tactic is obviously an insult to the people of North Carolina, who would rather see their tax dollars go to protecting community resources rather than paying out-of-pocket to enjoy them. Charging entrance fees would also greatly reduce accessibility, as only those with expendable income would be welcomed into these state parks.
While elected officials have been pondering entrance fees, they’ve also already decided to entirely eliminate the state park system’s dedicated revenue stream. Furthermore, the amount of grants given to state parks in North Carolina has gone from 47 in 2012 to only 14 in 2013. This is an insult to North Carolinians, who are essentially watching their state park system transform from a community resource to a dwindling, capitalized luxury.
The state government of North Carolina owes it to residents of the state to reverse course with regards to funding for state parks. Thankfully, members of the state Senate and House have been working to draft a new budget for the next fiscal year that includes increased funding for these beautiful, historic landmarks. Sign the petition below to urge Governor McCrory to reinstitute plentiful funding for North Carolina’s state park system.
Dear Governor McCrory,
North Carolina’s state parks are supposed to be a point of pride for the state’s residents. Monuments like Mt. Mitchell are landmarks that should be cherished. Unfortunately, the state government has failed to treat these community resources with the respect they deserve. It’s time to change this trend by significantly increasing funding for North Carolina’s state parks.
That funding for state parks has decreased so rapidly over the last decade is frustrating for many North Carolinians. Proposing that they should pay entrance fees to access these community resources is outright insulting.
The state government should protect these parks in order to show that they truly do care about the local environment. Moreover, researchers rely on the 30-plus state protected parks and forests to conduct meaningful research. Other residents count on the parks to provide safe, healthy options for recreation.
Funding for state parks in North Carolina should not have reached the low point at which it currently stands. I urge you to significantly increase funding for North Carolina’s state park system.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kolin Toney