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Sun, Dec. 08

Arizona State Parks' boss wants to bring stability to agency

Arizona State Parks and Trails Director Robert Broscheid. (Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Courtesy)

Arizona State Parks and Trails Director Robert Broscheid. (Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Courtesy)

PHOENIX — The new director of Arizona State Parks and Trails says he needs to revisit all of the parks before he can pick a favorite, but that he already knows what the agency needs most now: calm and stability.

Bob Broscheid was appointed recently by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to head the Arizona agency and replace Sue Black, who was fired last November following numerous complaints including the bulldozing of potential archaeological sites to rush development of cabins and other improvements.

"Stability is priority. There's been a lot of change. There's been a lot of uncertainty," Broscheid told the Arizona Capitol Times . "I will not bash anybody before me. I wasn't here.

"I think my top priority here is to calm the waters. It's a new day, a new approach. I'm a new director and I'm really just letting folks know, 'We're going to be all right.' Then we're creating a vision that is going to set the state parks for the next 20 years."

Broscheid, 49, graduated from Arizona State University in 1985 and worked for the Arizona Game and Fish Department for 20 years before leaving to lead Colorado's Parks and Wildlife department.

Colorado has 42 state parks while Arizona has 35, according to Broscheid.

Don't ask Broscheid which Arizona state park is his favorite. He wants to revisit all of them before giving an answer.

"I don't know about a favorite state park yet," he said. "I've got to refresh myself."

Broscheid considers himself to be the typical state parks visitor. He hikes, bikes, takes long backpacking trips through the wilderness and enjoys water sports.

"When I was a kid in northeastern Ohio, we had hundreds of acres behind our house," he said. "It was the curiosity about nature and the woods coupled with Marlin Perkins and the Mutual of Omaha nature-based television shows. My parents also just said, 'Get outside.' Then, I realized that you can do this for a living and that you can provide opportunities for people to feel the same way as I did as a kid.

"And to me, it is so satisfying when you see a kid or an adult, at any age, hold a frog or hike and see deer for the first time," added Broscheid. "I just remember that and I think that's what really drives me is that I'm responsible for providing that first experience for so many people."

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