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      Texas Parks & Wildlife seeks help of local communities

      The state parks providing entertainment, education and natural beauty may soon be limited if budget is not met.

      Palo Duro Canyon State Park Superintendent Cory Evans announced Tuesday the 2011 operating budget of Texas Parks & Wildlife has fallen short by $4.6 million. Those shortcomings have been summed up to $3 million in user fees and $1.6 million in revenue based on vehicle registration.

      Evans announced the agency is now reaching to local communities for help.

      "They can go online to our website and make a year-end tax deductible donation," he said. "They can, beginning January first, make a donation when they register their vehicles or thirdly and most importantly, since our revenues come directly from our user fees, visit one of the state parks in the area."

      According to Evans, the drought and wildfires seen across the state this year are what have caused the current deficit. He added the community has been supportive of Palo Duro Canyon and the activities that have taken place there. He says he hopes that support will continue into the current fallback.

      "Texas State Parks provide absolutely outstanding examples of managing our unique resources throughout the state," Evans said. "They protect out cultural and natural resources and provide a valuable economic engine for the local communities, as well."

      A list of possible closures has not yet been sent out, but Evans says that will happen if the budget cannot be met.

      For more information on Texas Parks & Wildlife or to make a donation, go to