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

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.