California Budget Cuts Threaten Closure of State Parks

California State Parks LogoCalifornia Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a 27-bill state budget plan
Tuesday and by veto, imposed nearly $500 million more in cuts,
including reductions affecting California’s state parks system.

“This has been a very tough budget, probably the toughest since I
have been in office here in Sacramento,” Schwarzenegger said, according
to published reports. “This budget is kind of like the good, the bad and
the ugly.”

The new cuts include $6.2 million from the California state parks
system. These new reductions, added to earlier cuts, could mean the
closure of 100 of the state’s 279 parks after Labor Day, parks director
Ruth Coleman told the Los Angeles Times.

Roy Stearns, deputy director for communications for the California
Department of Parks and Recreation, told MotorHome magazine that the
department does not yet have a listing of parks to close and would not
be issuing one until after Labor Day.

“Our intent is to reach out to public-private partners – cities,
counties, nonprofits, associations, individuals and others – to see if
we can cobble together funding to keep parks open,” Stearns told
MotorHome. “Our intent is to reduce the closure list.”

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