State parks to remain open
June 28, 2012
• State funding cuts filled by local efforts
• Expect service cutbacks, however
With the new state budget and the help of a raft of nonprofit organizations, private donors, local governments and others, it now appears that none of California’s 278 state parks will be closed as of July 1.
“At last some good news for state parks from the governor’s office,” says Sierra Club California Director Kathryn Phillips.
Through his line-item veto, Gov. Jerry Brown reduced the new funding assigned by the Legislature to the Department of Parks and Recreation from $41 million to $10 million.
Despite this reduction, Natural Resources Secretary John Laird says that the $10 million in funding will be enough -- when combined with ongoing efforts by mom-state units to take on responsibility for threatened parks -- to avoid closing any of the state parks on July 1. There may be some service reductions, but no closures, however.
“But this relatively small amount of funding isn’t enough to make sure we have all of the parks open in the years to come,” says Ms. Phillips. “The park system needs a sustainable, long-term solution. It will require more active, more engaged leadership from the governor for that to happen.”