With the unofficial kickoff to summer looming, the issue of parking at California state beaches is heating up.
In search of new revenue, the state parks system is eyeing parking fees for parts of the Northern California shoreline where none existed before. It's also mulling hiking rates at popular beaches south of Los Angeles during peak periods.
The state parks department is recovering from a financial mismanagement scandal and is under legislative orders to find stable funding.
But the department's need to raise money is facing resistance from coastal regulators, who fear beach access will be curbed with higher or new parking fees. Environmentalists contend the fees amount to monetizing the coast.
Out of the more than 1,000 miles of California coastline, about a third is controlled by state parks.