Patt Morrison for May 13, 2011

Just in time for Memorial Day, budget cuts force the closure of 70 California state parks

Mercer 17989

David McNew/Newsmakers

Burned trees surround cattle grazing in a meadow in the Sequoia National Forest in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains west of Ridgecrest, CA.

The tangible effects of California’s perpetual budget deficits have been felt over the past few years but this development will strike close to home for Californians gearing up for the summer camping season. Gov. Jerry Brown’s January budget plan proposed reductions for the state parks budget and directed the California State Parks System to identify which parks would close based on attendance rates and historical significance. Today that list was released and 70 state parks are on the chopping block, from some iconic parks like Del Norte Coast Redwoods to smaller outposts like the Los Encinos mission that’s right here in San Fernando Valley. Service reductions at the parks will begin over the summer and closures will begin in September. The parks system is still holding out hope to save some of these parks, seeking partnerships with local government and non-profits to keep funding in place. Regardless, California’s budget mess will impact your vacation plans and close some of the state’s most sacred public parks.

Guest:

Ruth Coleman, director of the California State Parks System

Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation


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