Parks

DEP says no “critical” funding would force state parks to close

By BRUCE¬†RITCHIE Florida would be forced to close state parks without approval of a new state budget that provides for at least¬†“critical” spending, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. DEP on Monday issued a list of critical funding needs as requested last week by Gov. Rick Scott in advance of a June 1-20 …

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Florida parks increase visitors after drop in previous year

Honeymoon Island State Park Maybe the slow economy is encouraging people to rediscover nature. Or maybe the weather just was more inviting this past year. For whatever reasons, attendance at Florida state parks increased slightly in 2010-11 following a sharp dip the previous year, according to state park officials. Park attendance in fiscal year 2010-11 …

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Gov. Scott’s late parks announcement not a sneak attack, aide says

Scott told reporters after visiting DEP in February that he enjoys visiting state parks and they should be protected. After a week of controversy involving Florida Park Service proposals to put recreational vehicle campgrounds in four state parks, Gov. Rick Scott announced last Friday he was pulling the plug on at least the proposal at …

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Wakulla Springs lodge could close under proposed versions of state budget

The historic lodge at Wakulla Springs State Park could eventually close under proposed House and Senate versions of the 2011-12 state budget. Both versions of the budget call for turning concessions at five state parks over to private companies to operate. Wakulla Springs State Park supporters are concerned that the 27-bed lodge built in 1937 …

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Florida House members uneasy with proposal to close 53 state parks

Peacock Springs State Park near Luraville is one of the 53 state parks that would be closed. A budget-exercise proposal to close 53 state parks drew concerns Wednesday from members of a House budget-writing committee. State agencies last fall were asked to come up with 15-percent budget cut proposals for the upcoming fiscal year. State …

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