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In an effort to reduce operating costs, the administration of Allegany State Park will close the main roads inside the park through April 1, but the public will have access for winter activities from the Southern Tier Expressway.

Dann S. Colvin, assistant regional park director, said there will be access to the park from Routes 18, 19 and 20 at Salamanca but interior Routes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed beginning this week.

In the past Route 1 between Red House and Quaker has traditionally been closed. The closing of the other two roads will save money usually spent for winter road maintenance on the 20 miles of roadway.

Snow and weather permitting, usual winter activities will continue, said Colvin.

Scheduled events include the Arthur Roscoe Ski-Touring race to benefit the American Cancer Society Jan. 26 and a snowmobile festival Feb. 1 to 3.

Winter cabin reservations are heavily booked through March 1, said Mario J. Pirastru, regional parks director. He said cuts also apply to other parks in the Allegany Region for the remainder of the state's fiscal year.

He has previously announced reductions in the temporary and seasonal staff, that included layoff notices to seven employees.

Other cost-saving measures include minimum maintenance for ski touring and snowmobile trails at Lake Erie State Park and Long Point on Chautauqua Lake where the heated marina building will be closed.

Ice fishing will be allowed and the parking lot will be maintained for easy access to Chautauqua Lake.

Despite the cutbacks, the "staff is dedicated to ensuring that park visitors are well served including every concern for their safety and equipment of the park's facilities," Pirastru said.

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