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Oklahomans, Lawmakers Rally To Save State Parks

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Wah-Sha-She state park in Copan. Wah-Sha-She state park in Copan.

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A decision earlier this year by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department to close seven state parks is drawing the ire of Oklahomans and several state lawmakers.

A group of about two dozen people rallied at the state Capitol on Wednesday to protest the planned closure of the parks, effective in August.

Tourism officials announced earlier this year plans to close Adair State Park in Stilwell, Beaver Dunes, Boggy Depot in Atoka, Brushy Lake in Sallisaw, Heavener Runestone State Park, Lake Eucha in Jay, and Wah-Sha-She in Copan. All of the parks except the Beaver Dunes are located in eastern Oklahoma.

Tourism officials say the closures are necessary as the agency grapples with continued cuts to its budget.

However, the Osage Nation is considering taking over the operation of Wah-Sha-She state park. It is currently evaluating the condition of the park's facilities and roads.

5/2/2011 Related Story: Partnership Could Keep Wah-Sha-She State Park From Closing

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