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Shutting down state parks would be a mistake

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Washington, DC, April 17, 2012 | comments

To the editor,

I am heartened to see the public concern over Governor Paterson's plan to close state parks as part of his effort to deal with the state's financial problems. It has also been encouraging to see state lawmakers step forward, voicing their advocacy to keep our parks open.

It's understood that our state leaders have difficult choices to make as they work to close a huge budget deficit and reform the entire process so New Yorkers will enjoy a brighter future. However, closing our state parks is not the solution, especially as we recover from a long and deep recession.

Our parks are part of the fabric of our region. They embody the history and heritage that make upstate New York a special place to live. They serve as a reminder of the role our area has played in history, and as a legacy to those who lived here before us. Parks also inspire a sense of destination and tourism, driven by the historic heritage infrastructure.

Our state parks are also an engine for local economies, and they provide the opportunity for many families to enjoy recreation close to home with their friends and neighbors. Especially in these difficult economic times, visits to local parks are viable options for families to enjoy less expensive time away from home. Once our parks are gone, it will be nearly impossible to bring them back.

I am already working in Washington to find a solution that would allow for the federal government to partner with the state and keep these valuable properties open.

In the meantime, let's not forget that our state parks are not just a place to recreate, they are part of what defines us as a region and they build on our sense of pride and place.

Rep. Paul D. Tonko

Amsterdam

Tonko represents the 21st Congressional District.

Read more: http://archive.recordernews.com/archive_detail.php?archiveFile=2010/March/14/LetterstotheEditr/94142.xml&start=0&numPer=20&keyword=Paul+Tonko&sectionSearch=Letters+to+the+Editr&begindate=1%2F1%2F2000&enddate=4%2F12%2F2012&authorSearch=&IncludeStories=1&pubsection=&page=&IncludePages=&IncludeImages=&mode=allwords&archive_pubname=The+Amsterdam+Recorder%0A%09%09%09

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