State parks will close, but fewer than feared

Posted by on Thu, July 23, 2009

Although the final numbers aren’t known, $62 million of the $70 million taken from the state parks budget could be restored when the budget bill is finally passed, reports Capitol Weekly.

This means that there some state parks will close, perhaps one out of every five or six parks.

That leaves California’s state parks to handle a budget gap of $8 million.

This means that about 30 to 50 of California’s 279 state parks may have to close. The question now is which ones? That list is being put together. ...

Along with the proposed park closures, parks that do remain open will have to undergo significant management steps to save money. Park employees are already furloughed three Fridays out of the month, hours and days of operations will need to be shortened, and visiting fees will most likely increase. ...

In the unlikely event that California is completely unable to keep its parks open, some parks like San Francisco’s Angel Island, Point Sur State Historic Park and Fort Ord Dunes, could be taken back as federal land. ...

"If the land is reverted, it would revert to federal land reserves for re-disposal," said Siegenthaler, "and it would not necessarily remain a park."

For now, State Parks is working closely with the National Parks Service to make sure that land reversion does not happen.


Each state park has a unique history, and a unique paper trail.  I read that 6 of the parks were given to California by the feds to give us access to open space.  These would revert to the feds if California shuts them down.  My question is how do we go about municipalizing the state beaches here in town?  What is on the title to them?  Certainly they would pay for themselves.  The state employees could be given a new job with the new HMB department of beaches.  Heck, might even contribute to the city treasury.

Don’t worry about these park closures.  HMB politicians are committed to building you a 24 acre Beachwood Park instead of selling it to developers instead of letting Chop Keenan develop the land and losing an $18 million lawsuit to him.

The city tried that quid pro quo tactic with the Sacramento legislature to get money from AB/SB 650 and AB 1991 and from urban park proposition funds, and I-Bank funds, to settle the lawsuit in name of building a park.

People of HMB - insist that Beachwood Park be built and hold the politicians feet to the fire until they do so.  They should add it to the city’s General Plan and this park should be designed and completed within 2 years.  After all, the city has the EIR and other data on the site that they presented or had available to the Federal Court that ruled against them.

Extract that commitment NOW from HMB politicians and tell them to scrap selling this property to developers for $10 to $15 million in 10 years or so as they now propose!  You already had the developer, permits and authorization before reneging on the developer!

Building Beechwood Park is the ethical thing to do since they screwed Keenan out of his approved project and is in keeping with the open space and no housing development proponents.

You should not fool with mother nature or political hacks who made end runs in this “Wrong Way Corrigan” fiasco!  Punting in the park will be more entertaining than the city’s fuzzy politics and special interests!