Parks are a state treasure

This hardly is a news flash, but Texas can boast of a first-rate system of state parks.

The Panhandle has two of them, Palo Duro and Caprock Canyons. They both possess breathtaking vistas, plenty of recreational opportunities for visitors, they’re home to plenty of wildlife. Caprock Canyons, indeed, includes a significant herd of bison for park visitors to enjoy.

But there’s more of them, obviously, across the vast state. KACV-TV will broadcast at 8:30 p.m. Thursday its latest “Texas Parks and Wildlife” segment, highlighting the state’s bat caves and biking in the Big Bend Ranch.

The state park system has been on the bubble in recent years as the state seeks to balance its budget. Some parks have scaled back their hours of operation, cut staff and closed some of the amenities (such as restrooms and camping areas) to save money.

To the state’s credit — and the benefit of Panhandle residents and those who visit the region — Palo Duro and Caprock Canyon state parks have avoided many of the more drastic cuts that have hit some state parks.

Public television, though, is doing its part in telling the TP&W story. Yes, the agency is feeling the pinch right along with other state programs. The state’s vast network of parks — as those who run the Panhandle’s two state park jewels will attest — still has plenty to offer.

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