Help Texas state parks beat their budget battle

Amarillo, TX - Texas State Parks are facing a nearly five million dollar short fall in their budget this year.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced they are four-point-six million dollars short in their upcoming budget, and they say the drought, extreme heat and wildfires may be to blame.

To help fill the void the department is asking Texas residents to help out.

Visitor fees usually pay for about half of the operating costs for the parks, but because of the heat, drought and fires that have affected the state this year, park revenue has dropped by 25-percent.

"We noticed a steady increase in the visitation over the last few years until this year. We've been hit with a triple whammy of severe drought, catastrophic wildfires and a resulting decrease in visitation and revenue numbers so it's a pretty urgent situation in our state parks," said Cory Evans the Palo Duro Parks Superintendent.

You can help state parks stay open by visiting them, making a tax deductible donation online at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/helpparks, or by making a donation at the first of the year when you renew your car's registration.