DNR budget cuts lead to privatization of Alaska state parks in Valdez, elsewhere

KTVA- Alaska’s statewide budget cuts have hit the Department of Natural Resources, and now the organization is looking to privatize operations of four Valdez-area parks, which will no longer have state-funded support beginning in July.

The Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation’s budget was cut by roughly $621,000, according to DNR spokeswoman Claire LeClair. Included in those cuts was $133,000 for Valdez-area state park facilities in Worthington Glacier State Recreation Site, Blueberry Lake State Recreation Site, Mineral Creek State Recreation Site and Shoup Bay State Marine Park.

LeClair said the $133,000 represented not only the salary of the sole full-time employee overseeing maintenance of those parks, but also rent, park vehicles and gas, toilet paper and other things needed to keep the parks clean and safe for visitors.