Governor recommends closing parks to save money

By on Fri, May 29, 2009

The governor is proposing to cut state funding to the state park system.  The California State Parks Foundation says that this could close more than 80% of the state’s 279 parks. There are 17 state parks in San Mateo County, including Half Moon Bay and Montara State Beaches, reports the Daily Journal. Furthermore, the closure of parks on the Southcoast could have a significant effect on the economy of Half Moon Bay.

But State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, cautions that no decisions have been made yet on park closures by the Legislature.

"Just because it’s tough times doesn’t mean you have to use bad judgment," said Yee, who indicated he would continue to fight for resources for San Mateo County. ...

The park system receives about $150 million from the state’s general fund and the public could be barred from 223 of the state’s 279 parks, according to park officials. ...

County Supervisor Rich Gordon represents coastal communities where many of the state parks are slated to be closed.

"It’s unclear whether the state will stop providing staff for the parks or just padlock them," he said.

The CSPF says "state parks receive less than 1/10 of one percent of the entire state budget". The Legislature’s Budget Conference Committee will consider this proposal on Tuesday, June 2. There’s a form for sending messages to your state representatives on the State Parks Foundation site.

State Parks in San Mateo County, from Daily Journal:

Año Nuevo, natural reserve
Bean Hollow, beach
Big Basin Redwoods
Burleigh H. Murray Ranch (park property)
Castle Rock
Gray Whale Cove, beach
Half Moon Bay, beach
Montara, beach
Pacifica, beach
Pescadero, beach
Pigeon Point Light Station, historic park
Point Montara Light Station (park property)
Pomponio, beach
Portola Redwoods
San Gregorio, beach
Thornton, beach