Proposed budget will result in state park closures, says State Parks Foundation

Posted by on Fri, January 21, 2011

We’ve been meaning to post this since last week, but nothing has changed since the initial proposal. Governor Brown’s proposed budget will result in more closures in state parks, says the California State Parks Foundation:

Today, Gov. Jerry Brown released his first budget proposal for the 2011-12 fiscal year, which contains an $11 million General Fund cut for the Department of Parks and Recreation, the state agency responsible for managing the state park system.  This will undoubtedly lead to increased park closures and service reductions. Language in the budget documents indicate that will grow to $22 million in ongoing cuts. ...

While no specific list of park closures has yet been made available, the budget proposal indicates cuts will be made in the current fiscal year with a combination of partial closures and full closures.  Budget language also assumes ongoing cuts of $22 million General Fund support for the state park system.  Broad criteria are listed that may be used for closures.  However, without a specific list, the decisions about which parks will close, duration of closures, opportunities to avoid closures, and the impacts of those proposed closures are hard for the public to assess.

Just three years ago, a proposed cut of $13 million translated into closing 48 state parks across California. Since then, budget reductions have left the parks system operating with 150 partial closures and service reductions.  The cumulative impacts of budget cuts and staffing reductions over the last two years have diminished the system so that an $11 million cut today will have even more impact than it would have had two years ago.


Comment 1
Fri, January 21, 2011 7:52pm
Carl May
All my comments

So, if $13 million translated into 48 hypothetical state park closures, can we say the $6.5 million to be spent by the state on acquisition of Little Basin, to say nothing of the addition money need for ongoing overhead on the piece, could translate into keeping approximately 24 parks open?

And this is just one piece of real estate. Who knows what other state park acquisitions, especially expensive developed properties or ones that will require expensive capital improvements for intended artificial park development, are in the works elsewhere? This is no less insane than allowing logging and mining behind view strips in state parks to bring in money.

In our local Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, San Mateo County is looking to get over $750,000 from the state Coastal Conservancy and from state park funds to bulldoze and artificially surface a totally unnecessary (and mere) 0.28 miles of mislocated and misengineered California Coastal Trail (CCT)—actually an artificially-surfaced road at the size anticipated, including shoulders. (“Shoulders” on a trail? What the hell are they?) Because the existing route of the CCT on the blufftop (as delineated by guide books for the past decade and a half) is already adequate and being enjjoyed by the public in that part of Fitzgerald and could be made entirely spiffy for a few thousand dollars, aren’t you inclined to ask yourself how many state jobs could be saved with that 3/4 of a $mil to keep other adequate existing facilities open and maintained?

You have to ask yourself, with this kind of money being pissed away on just a few projects by a couple of the state’s smallest agencies, what might be saved with gains for the public in the large, politically potent agencies dealing with schools, transportation, and social services. Until state government gets real with its math and with overriding, sustainable population, resource, and environmental policies, it’s “no” on everything by this voter. Sorry Jerry.