California parks on the brink as supporters raise cash to prevent closures
From the redwoods of Northern California to historic homes near Los Angeles, advocates are racing against the clock to save dozens of state parks slated to close next month.
Many of the threatened parks will be kept open through agreements with private donors and nonprofits, part of a grand experiment California has launched to compensate for budget cuts in Sacramento. But even if they're successful, the rescue will be a reprieve, not a solution, officials and advocates say.
The full story ran in Wednesday's L.A. Times.
As lawmakers haggle over the state budget this week, they're also debating proposals that they say could provide park funding for years in the future. Ideas have included using vehicle registration fees to maintain park roads and selling special license plates to drivers who donate to the parks system.
Ruth Coleman, the state parks director, estimates that more than half of the 70 historic and natural sites listed to close will stay open.
— Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: A park official closes the gate to Providence Mountain State Recreation Area near the Mojave Desert. Since the park closed earlier this year, vandals have broken windows and display cases and stolen 24,000 feet of copper wire. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times