Established by an emergency act of the Legislature (Laws 1957, Ch. 99); the bill was signed by Governor McFarland on March 25, 1957. Current authority is found in A.R.S. §§41-511 to 41-511.23
According to the Arizona State Parks Board website, its mission is “Managing and conserving Arizona’s natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our Parks and through our Partners.”
The draft bill for the State Parks Board as approved by the Arizona State Parks Association and supported by the grazing and agriculture interests was introduced as House Bill 72 and as Senate Bill 61 in 1957 during the 23rd Legislature. In the House the bill was introduced by the Committee on Livestock and Public Lands. Because of the strong public support, House Bill 72 passed the House during the week of February 11, 1957. Senator Robert E. Morrow, an advocate of the state parks system who had first introduced state parks legislation five years earlier, guided the House bill through its passage in the Senate.
The legislation mandated the State Parks Board to “Select, acquire, preserve, establish and maintain areas of natural features, scenic beauty, historical and scientific interest, and zoos and botanical gardens, for the education, pleasure, recreation, and health of the people, and for such other purposes as may be prescribed by law.”