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Alabama Budget Cuts Could Shut Down Popular Mountain Bike Trail Systems

Alabama State Parks is facing significant budget cuts that would likely result in park closures, several of which are prime mountain biking destinations. Cheaha, DeSoto, Lake Guntersville and Lake Lurleen are parks with existing mountain bike trails that may be closed if the budget is reduced.

The state legislature’s intent is to transfer $11.4 million out of the 2016 Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) budget. The majority of those funds—$10.4 million—would be stripped from the state parks system. There are also plans to implement a reduction in both staffing and operational hours at several state parks.

TAKE ACTION! If you ride in Alabama State Parks, or hope to ride those trails, please speak out in support of funding for state parks!

Here’s how you can get involved:

(1) Sign the petition asking the Alabama governor to keep all state parks open.

(2) Contact your state legislator, tell them why the parks are so important to you, and ask them not to strip funding from state parks. If you are part of an IMBA chapter that works with Alabama State Parks, please give an overview of that volunteer work.

(3) Keep up with what’s going on via Alabama State Parks Partners.

(4) Go ride in Alabama’s state parks and share your experiences. Use this hashtag: #SaveAlabamaParks

Why would this money be taken from state parks?

Alabama State Parks is one of four divisions, each separately funded, within the ADCNR. The revenues used by the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, Marine Resources Division and most of the revenues designated for the State Lands Division are protected by federal laws and regulations and cannot be diverted. This means the majority of state dollars belonging to the Department of Conservation that are eligible to be transferred can only come from Alabama State Parks. In turn, this action would lead to closing some state park properties that are under-performing on a revenue basis.

Learn more.