Director of State Parks Greg Lein

outdooralabama.com

Alabama State Parks is considering a "state parks pass" for vehicles in response to a tight 2013 budget.

Without additional funding, Greg Lein, director of Alabama State Parks, says there could be layoffs and partial seasonal closures of some parks and golf courses. Lein says decisions on which operations could be affected will be made on a month-by-month basis.

Trance Mist / Flickr

  The state conservation department says it may eliminate some services and cut back hours of operation at state parks across Alabama.

The department's state parks director, Gregory Lien, has written a letter to community leaders explaining the circumstances.

Parks officials said the possible cuts stem from pending legislation that would divert $5 million in tax revenue that has been used in prior years to support the parks. Instead, the parks would rely only on the money they generate, which is not sufficient to maintain services.

http://www.alapark.com/ / Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

A Senate committee has sent a bill to the floor that could allow private operators to lease lodging facilities and golf courses within 12 state parks.

The Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee approved the bill 8-2 Wednesday.

It would allow the Department of Conservation to generate and control the leases. State parks are supported by visitor fees. While some parks pay for themselves, others lose millions of dollars each year. Supporters say the bill could turn those numbers around.