January 28, 2010
Yesterday we met with Marshall Trimble here at the True West offices about doing something regarding the state of Arizona closing numerous parks, including the Tombstone Courthouse. Here is what Marshall came up with:
ARIZONA HERITAGE FUND AND STATE PARKS
Everyone knows these are tough times and I don’t know anybody who hasn’t been hurt by it but do we have to sacrifice our heritage and crown jewels?
I call on people everywhere to rally around the cause. Let Arizona be the focal point. I say this not because I’m an Arizonan. To paraphrase my idol Will Rogers, “I never met a state I didn’t like,” but Arizona is unique. The Spanish called it the “Northern Mystery.” When the Army of the West crossed in the 1840s they were accompanied by scientists who made the first studies of the geology, flora and fauna. The scientific community in America and the Europe waited anxiously to see their reports. Today, the biotic life in Arizona is the most diverse in the United States and scientists still come from afar to study here.
In December, 1983 “Arizona Highways” magazine published a special issue titled “Fifty in One,” where photographs exemplifying the most scenic places in each of the fifty states was shown. Every photo was shot within the boundaries of Arizona.
The science of Ecology was developed here by Clinton Hart Merriam, one of the world’s great naturalists. All seven of his Life Zones are found in Arizona.
We tend to think of the Grand Canyon as Arizona’s Crown Jewel, but in reality, Arizona is America’s Crown Jewel.
Why am I writing this? Because for the past several years politicians have been taking funds from our state parks and the Heritage Fund. This year most of our state parks have either had to close or are facing closure.
What can we do about it? I suggest we begin with a grass roots movement to gather strong public support. Public pressure is needed to persuade our legislators to pass a law that forbids a state legislature from taking funds from those entities that promotes and preserves our state heritage. If they won’t do it then let’s get it on the ballot
This is not just Arizona’s problem but something that should concern all Americans.
—Marshall Trimble, Official Arizona State Historian
“The Indians never got lost because they were always looking back over their shoulders to see where they’d been.”
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