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California State Parks Face Closure Under Jerry Brown's Budget Proposal

Paresh Dave |
January 13, 2011 | 4:29 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

The least-visited California's state parks would be closed or see reduced hours under Governor Jerry Brown's budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year.

It's a move that looks incredibly efficient, especially with the number of park employees down at maintenance of trails, bathrooms and other buildings at a minimum.

Taking away $11 million of funding by abandoning the parks few seem to care about would allow more focus on to be placed on the most visited such as San Diego's Old Town and state beaches all along the coast line from Cardiff to Sonoma.

A list of which parks could have their gates locked up for the long haul, or at least more often, will be released in early February.

As it stands now, the park system draws about 80 million people annually to 279 parks, including beaches, sand dunes, historic sites and campgrounds.

The system has suffered a combined 27 percent in budget cuts during the past three years.

It's unclear which parks could actually be closed down or be shut down during weekdays and off-peak seasons because park administrators will consider operating costs and revenue generated by some of the least-attended parks to determine which ones are actually dragging the system down. Local groups could also stave off certain cutbacks by coming up with private funding.

More public funding was rejected in November, when 57 percent of voters said they would not pay an extra $18 as part of their vehicle registration fees to get maintenance at state parks back on track. In exchange for the up-front fee, cars with California license plates would have been admitted to state parks for free.

Reach executive producer Paresh Dave here. Follow him on Twitter: @peard33.




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