California Gov. Jerry Brown's administration announced today it plans to close 70 state parks, part of the $33 million in parks budget cuts the state legislature has approved. Years of budget deficits have raised the scepter of state park closures before, but this is the first time California listed specific parks it plans to close.
The 70 parks, a quarter of the state's 278 current parks, are listed in the document Brown's office released today. The closures include the Governor’s Mansion in Sacramento, the Salton Sea State Recreation Area in Imperial County, Pio Pico in Whittier, Orange County, and McGrath State Beach in Ventura County.
The parks department said service reductions will begin over the summer and closures will begin in September. All parks on the list will be locked up by July 1, 2012.
In a written statement, Resource Secretary John Laird called the cuts “unfortunate” but said “the state’s current budget crisis demands that tough decisions be made.”
Some are not thrilled about the decision, such as Debra, who writes:
"In these tough times, these parks still allow for an affordable outlet for people who can't afford vacations," she wrote. "I've been to several of the parks on the 'hit' list, and each and everyone of them are true gems that should be saved."
View California State Park Closures in a larger map