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Texas Parks & Wildlife needs $18.9 million to not close 20 parks

Published On: Jan 13 2013 01:33:02 PM CST

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Officials say the Texas Parks And Wildlife Department might be forced to close up to 20 of its 95 state parks if the Legislature doesn't approve the $18.9 million funding boost they've requested for the system.
    
Parks director Brent Leisure says the department still hasn't identified which parks would be affected as the picture of their future financial situation clarifies. The Legislature Budget Board releases its budget recommendations Monday.
    
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the department has asked for $507.1 million for the next two years plus $103 million to restore cuts by previous legislative sessions.
    
After years of underfunding and public outcry over the poor state of the parks, the department saw a boost in funding during 2006 but faced more cuts during the economic downturn of 2011.