State parks will close, but fewer than feared

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.