(WAFF) - More than a dozen state parks would be closed under a plan by state lawmakers to trim Alabama's budget.
According to Lake Guntersville State Park Director Michael Jeffreys, a list of 15 parks marked for closure would include both Lake Guntersville and Buck's Pocket.
While Lake Guntersville would be closed in Fiscal Year 2016, which begins Oct. 1 of this year, Buck's Pocket's closure would be more immediate, with a May 1 target date.
No reservations at Buck's Pocket will be taken for after May 1; anyone who has an existing reservation past that date will be getting refunds.
Jeffreys said this should be a concern to residents, and that they should contact their lawmakers immediately.
State Representative Joe Faust said that parks should be on the top of the list when budget cuts are required. He said state officials should be looking for ways to make the parks self-sustaining.
On Tuesday, Alabama State Parks System Director Greg Lein released the following statement:
Governor Robert Bentley has threatened to veto any budget that contains massive cuts. He has said Alabama needs to raise taxes instead.
Representative Will Ainsworth released a statement in response to Lein's remarks:
We contacted Joe Wheeler State Park to inquire about their status on the closure list. A representative told us Wednesday that at this time, they are still taking reservations.
The representative said they have not been told to cancel any events scheduled for this year and they have not been given any orders to stop taking reservations or to close.
However, Lein said Joe Wheeler is on the Oct. 1 closure list alongside Lake Guntersville. He said they are two of the largest parks, and they sometimes operate in the red due to renovations and closures.
He said the legislative plan will take $10.4 million out of the department's revolving fund, which he said would lead to an "unravelling" of funds for the park system and that all parks would be impacted to some degree.
Lein also said if Gov. Bentley's budget is passed, then these parks would not have to be closed.
He indicated Monte Sano and Cathedral Caverns are not on the closure list.