11 Most Endangered Historic Places

America's State Parks and State-Owned Historic Sites

Year Listed: 2010
Location: *United States
Threat: Budget Cuts

Significance

America’s state parks and state-owned historic sites are threatened – perhaps more than at any other time in recent history – with deep funding cuts and uncertain futures.

In response to record-breaking deficits, state governments are cutting funding for state-owned and -managed parks and historic sites from coast to coast. State park systems welcome an estimated 725 million visits every year and include places of national significance – from Native American historic sites to Revolutionary War forts to Civil War battlefields to country estates. This year nearly 30 states have experienced cuts to parks’ and sites’ budgets, and a recent survey estimates as many as 400 state parks could close. While providing some short-term budget relief, this approach will actually cost states far more in the long term. Before they can re-open, state-owned and -managed resources will require massive investments to undo the damage suffered from abandonment, neglect, and deferred maintenance.