The tightening of state budgets has had an effect on nearly all government programs, but is it to blame for increased crime in California’s state parks? A recent article by the Sacramento Bee shows that crime has nearly tripled in California state parks in the last decade. Although Parks and Recreation has updated the way they track ranger activity they still have a 30% park ranger vacancy rate. With over 79.5 million visitors in 2007-2008 and roughly 62,500 crimes last year, the chances of being a victim of a crime in a California state park are low, but rising. Have you noticed a change in state parks? Are you more or less likely to visit parks and beaches with fewer rangers?
Roy Stearns, Deputy Director of Communications at California Parks and Recreation