Hopi Ruins At Risk After Ariz. Closes State Parks

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As states across the country scramble to close budget gaps, many are targeting state parks. Arizona is the first to go through with it. In February, the state closed five of its 30 parks, and a number of them contain fragile archaeological sites. Now residents are taking steps to prevent looting.

Susan Secakuku, a former archaeologist at Homolovi and a member of the Hopi tribe, says it's hard to believe visitors are no longer allowed to see this stunning view from inside the park. They're also not allowed to see the archaeological treasures that are found there.

Arizona closed Homolovi earlier this year, along with four other state parks. In the past three years, the Legislature has cut state-park funding by roughly 80 percent. About half of all the state's park employees have been laid off.

That has led volunteers and nonprofit groups to step in. The Arizona Historical Society is paying to keep a historic mansion in Flagstaff open temporarily. And the city of Camp Verde is doing the same with a historic fort. Even individuals are getting ready to pitch in at some of the state's shuttered parks.

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