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Dramatic funding cuts to Utah state parks could result in many of them being closed next year, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Utah State Parks and Recreation saw its funding slashed by nearly 50 percent from fiscal year (FY) 2010 to FY 2011, dropping to $6.7 million, and a legislative audit has recommended another $2.8 million in cuts for FY 2012, according to the Tribune.
State Parks Director Mary Tullius told lawmakers her department had approached local governments about assuming parks management and none had expressed interest. The agency has already laid off almost 50 employees, about 18 percent of its workforce, the newspaper reports.
The state parks welcomed about 4.8 million visitors annually, according to the Tribune. Tullius recommended raising camping fees and golf course fees as one way to offset the proposed cuts.