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No California state parks will close, Gov. Schwarzenegger announces


Just months after the state threatened to close 100 parks because of budget cuts, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a plan today that will keep all parks open by instead reducing maintenance, administrative staff and some facilities’ hours.

The governor had cut $14.2 million from the parks budget as part of an effort to close a $60-billion budget shortfall, and parks officials said the reduction would force the closure of up to 100 state parks. That sparked an outcry from the public and pressure from environmental groups to reconsider.

Schwarzenegger said today that Parks and Recreation Department and state finance officials have come up with an alternative plan to keep all the parks open, with a reduction of the hours or days of operation at most of them.

The plan means that in many cases restrooms might be cleaned only once each day, some facilities will close weekdays and be open on weekends and holidays, and portions of a park, such as a back loop of a campground, may close part of the week.

Other parks that already close because of seasonal conditions may see a longer closure.

Details were not yet released on which parks will see reductions in the hours and days of operation.

"Working closely with my departments of Finance and Parks and Recreation, we have successfully found a way to avoid closing parks this year,” Schwarzenegger said. “This is fantastic news for all Californians.”

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: Pio Pico State Historic Park in Whittier, which was threatened with closure. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Earlier coverage:

L.A.-area state parks could close under new budget

Times map of proposed state park closures

California seeks sponsors to keep state parks open


Comments () | Archives (11)

I really hope this plan works. I was bummed when I heard parks would be closing. Keep our parks open!

Thanks Arnold, you’re my superhero. I love parks, but keeping them open and letting out 40,000 prisoners makes no sense. What was I thinking. Now the 40,000 criminals will have place to bury the bodies, great idea, yes, sarcasm.

How about cutting useless freeway sound walls, park commissioners (political appointees), etc. Or as Obama has said push volunteerism. Let those that love parks volunteer to watch over them. Then you could cut full time staffing and cut the budget at parks. You could also do this with State Police Reserve Officers, Park Rangers, Librarians, etc. Just maintain some regular staffing and supervision. There are people out there that would volunteer for free to help.

Thanks again Arnold for doing a press release on the easy.

Why not just have an across the board pay cut, lay off some middle management, and keep the parks open the way they were ?

oh yeah, that would make too much sense...

Great news for our wonderful state parks.
I can volunteer to help call me. I'm retired and need something to do.
I love the outdoors I can clean restrooms I can sweep and keep a smile on my face.

As a frequent user of public lands over the past 4 decades I have seen nothing but rate hikes and increased fees in our state parks year after year after year.

Last weekend alone I paid the (as yet) unheard of rate of $70.00 for a weekend camping in campground with pit toilets. That's double what I paid for the exact same thing in the Spring.

Now that campground fees equal that of a hotel room the State Parks have shot themselves in the foot.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that in one weekend that campground pulled thousands of dollars which equals tens of thousands in one year's time. Budget problem my ash!

This is just one more way the government rips off the taxpayer once again.

Thanks Governor for keeping these historic and beautiful parks open!

Gregory Curcio

Once a day. The restrooms in these facilities look like they are already only cleaned once a month. If that. Great for no closures, but how about fixing the problem to begin with. Overspending on illegal alien healthcare. Fraud laced Workers Compensation claims. Lets let the inmates out early to correct this.

Cue the hero rescue in five...four...three...

Why is this picture attached to this article? Looks like a winery or something. Since when are state parks identified by grapes and mowed lawns?

Is it REALLY gov'ts responsibility in economic crisis to keep all parks open? What's so wrong with closing some parks and saving money? There is a big difference between needs and wants. Parks are not an essential gov't service (need), they are a want. In these times people should be re-evaluating what they expect gov't to provide them and limiting their demands to need only.

To me, this is not going to be a nice solution.
Rather decrease open days and keep quality maintenance to draw more tourists/ visitors instead of opening and leaving those parks neglected.


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