Calif. Announces Closure of 70 State Parks, See Where They Are

At a noontime press conference today, the California State Parks announced its long-anticipated plans to close 70 of its 278 parks “due to budget cuts.” The department stated in a press release:

The closures are necessary to achieve an $11 million reduction in the next fiscal year 2011/12, and $22 million in the following fiscal year 2012/13.  These cuts were mandated by AB 95, which was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in March.

hdpublicplaces-mod“We regret closing any park,” said Ruth Coleman, director of California State Parks, “but with the proposed budget reductions over the next two years, we can no longer afford to operate all parks within the system.”

“These cuts are unfortunate, but the state’s current budget crisis demands that tough decisions be made,” said Resources Secretary John Laird. “Hopefully, Republicans in the legislature will agree to allow California voters to decide whether we extend currently existing taxes or make deeper cuts to our parks.”

We’ll have the complete list of the parks to be closed posted shortly. And stay tuned for a report from Sacramento bureau chief John Myers, who attended (and tweeted) the press conference .

Twitter / johnmyers: CA parks operations dir Tony …

Update 12:43pm: The State Parks web site is getting slammed, so here’s a list of the closures provided by the Sacramento Bee. Here’s the complete list directly from the State Parks department  in pdf form.

Update 1:28pm: KQED science reporter Lauren Sommer has mapped the 70 parks set for closure: View California State Park Closures in a larger map

Update 5:58 p.m.: The California Republican Party, which has held fast to its “no new taxes” line and is blocking Governor Brown’s proposal for a statewide vote on tax extensions to help deal with the state’s budget deficit, isn’t happy with the state park closures. Here’s a statement issued this afternoon by party spokesman Mark Standriff:

If California families are such a priority to Jerry Brown, then why close down the public services that families enjoy the most? It’s a ‘Washington Monument Strategy’ that is both cynical and manipulative, and shows little respect for the taxpayers he hopes will support his floundering budget plan.

Is Jerry really trying to convince us that he’s already cut every penny from the non-essential parts of the budget and only the essential parts are left unscathed? Once again, the Governor has shown that he would rather protect the bureaucracy at the expense of families than protect families at the expense of bureaucracy.

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  • http://blogs.kqed.org/ Denise Rickert-Cohen

    Thanks for reporting out this story, Gabe, and many thanks to Lauren for her time and effort to electronically map out the parks.

  • Jonathan

    I’m getting quite tired of having things like this taken away. How long will before we have to sell off our public land to make up a budget gap? That’s coming sooner or later.

  • kathy Rae

    I was upset about the fact that they want to close our State Parks.
    I am a full timer rver. We are always looking for different places to stay. We like to work at different rv parks. If we could we would love to work at one of these State Parks.
    Why can’t they hire full timer rvers to do these jobs. All we ask for is a place to park our rv. Which would be the State Park. No money going out.
    Seems like a simple solution to the problem.
    We do not want our State parks to go away.
    Thank you for your time
    Pass it on to whom ever you would think should read this.
    Kathy Hansen

  • http://www.chrishighland.wordpress.com Chris Highland

    I have been a regular “congregant in the temple” in Sam Taylor and China Camp and respectful visitor in Jack London, Manchester Beach and others on this list. Truly disheartening that we can padlock the doors of Muir’s great cathedrals and somehow find money to waste elsewhere. Our “leaders” should really feel shame.

  • Roibert Johnson

    The hypocrisy of the Republican Party is amazing. Its like watching Alice in Wonderland. NO NEW TAXES but don’t take away anything that we use.

  • Mark Hoag

    How fortunate we are to have this vast empire in our own backyard. My cycling frequently takes me through this paradise. How short-sighted can our politicians be to starve our children of the true meaning of life.

  • NuttTinBetter

    Definitely better solutions out there. Take goats out to cut the grass and ask docents to “care” for the park while living there are just two ideas I have seen work in other countries. Republicans are arse for a reaction because they can’t seem to find where they put the other end. Same ol, same ol…
    Any other ideas folks?

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