CA State Park Closures Put on Hold

September 16, 2009
Filed under Trailer News

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California State Parks officials – who had planned to announce this week which state parks
were going to be shuttered due to budget cuts – have indefinitely delayed naming the 100
parks to be closed. The announcement comes after they admitted the job of determining the
affected parks is more complicated than they thought it would be, according to the San
Francisco Chronicle
. Park officials are also unsure when the closures will occur. “We
are involved in a process we didn’t understand was as complicated as it is,” said Roy
Stearns, spokesman for the park system. One big problem, officials said, is that they don’t
know how they’re going to keep the public out of closed state parks and beaches. “That’s
the difficulty and also the worry as we try to come up with a list of closures,” said
Stearns. “It’s pretty impossible to close (many of the beaches and parks) or put a fence
around them. People are probably going to go there. We hope they are careful and don’t put
themselves at risk.” Stearns said local sheriff’s deputies will primarily be responsible
for patrolling the closed parks, but many state beaches and remote wildland areas will be
impossible to supervise adequately. Stearns adds that the final list, when it is released,
will be a working document that may change if funding changes or if there are new ideas to
keep parks open. California’s 279 state parks, which cover 1.5 million acres, were already
operating on little more than a shoestring budget, having absorbed years of cost cutting
and staff reductions. As it is, the state parks have $1.2 billion in deferred maintenance
on the books. Now, many of these under-maintained parks are facing outright abandonment.
Story courtesy of RV
Business
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