New year... same budgetary problems in the Golden State. Unless drastic changes are made, a quarter of California’s state parks will close this summer due to the lack of $22 million in funds needed to keep 70 of them open.
As a result, state environmental groups are campaigning to prevent the parks from being closed. A public-private partnership has been suggested as a way to keep the parks open, but Environment California insists that parks can survive without such a partnership. That organization would like the state to create dedicated funding for the parks, which are currently supported by the general fund. Concerns regarding the danger of large sections of state property going unsupervised have also been raised in light of the murder on Sunday of a national park ranger in Washington state.
How safe is it to leave dozens of California state parks unsupervised? What more can the state or private sector do to keep the parks open?
Ruth Coleman, director, California Department of Parks and Recreation