Across the West during the past several years, beleaguered state park systems have made news in Utah, Arizona, California and elsewhere as state governments have slashed budgets and threatened to permanently shutter some of their parks.

But Colorado’s state parks have taken a different path, The Coloradoan reported.

Since the state parks became part of the newly created Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) in 2011, three of four state parks slated for closure prior to the merger have remained open and there are no plans to shut them down. The fourth park, Bonny Lake near Burlington, became a state wildlife area and remains open to the public.

Despite losing more than $27 million in revenue during the previous year, including some federal money the state receives for managing federally owned reservoirs, Colorado’s state park system closed out its 2012 fiscal year with a $4.2 million budget surplus, according to a CPW financial report released this week.

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