Alabama Budget Crisis Threatens Conservation & State Parks

Alabama is facing a budget crisis that could severely affect several state agencies including the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). This month, the state legislature will convene for a second special session to address Alabama’s General Fund budget. Many ideas have been proposed to fill a budget shortfall estimated at $300 million. One proposal would transfer to the General Fund not only tax dollars that Alabama State Parks receives through appropriations, but also guest revenues collected through state park user fees. The majority of the parks system’s funding is generated by those user fees – approximately 90 percent.  As proposed in the first special session, the cash transfers would overdraw agency fund balances resulting in the potential collapse of Alabama’s state parks system.

ALA Fish Species

                     Alabama’s fish

Additionally, other Conservation Department divisions could face similar cash transfers as those forced on ADCNR by the legislature the past four years that would make the State of Alabama ineligible for $25 million in Federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration grants. If those transfers are approved, the state may be required to repay these funds to the federal government including interest, which would mean a significant reduction in services for hunters and fishermen in the state.

These cuts could lead to department-wide layoffs resulting in fewer hunting and fishing days, a reduction in conservation-related public services, and limited access to public lands for all Alabamians.

Contact information for the Alabama Legislature can be found here.

One Comment

  1. Paul Cooper says:

    Why is it that the people who pay to play and recreate are punished by the state? Why is it that there is never enough money for people who work hard to pay for things, but the state give away programs always have enough money? By reducing the available fishing and hunting areas and resources will cause the state to lose more money. As there will be less to spend on?

    Goodbye Alabama Outdoors…..