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State Parks on the chopping block

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State Parks on the chopping block

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat May 14, 2011 8:55 am

The list of state parks proposed to be shut was in the paper this morning. Henry Coe was on the chopping block, as well as Castle Crags! Henry Coe is one of the few Bay Area places where you can do a reasonable 4-5 day backpack trip in the winter. Although they propose to close access, they still have funding to patrol the parks to prevent access! Outrageous! Does anyone have more detailed information on this?



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Re: State Parks on the chopping block

Postby maverick » Sat May 14, 2011 10:54 am

This was the topic on the talk show, KGO, here in the Bay Area, and I had called
in, but could not wait any longer to give my comment last night.
There was a ballot initiative last Nov that purpose a $18 surcharge to the DMV
registration that would have saved the parks, which I voted for, but was defeated
so the majority have spoken, which is darn shame.
What about the maintenance of the parks that will prevent wildfires, if a fire starts
then what, are they just going let it burn, we are cutting fire department budgets too
aren't we?
Did they consider the issues of drug dealers cultivating marijuana like they did, or still
are in the foot hills of Sequoia NP because there are not enough rangers.
So, as big as Henry Coe is, it would be a prime candidate for such endeavors, plus these
parks are closer to cities, which would make distribution much easier.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... O.DTL&ao=1
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Re: State Parks on the chopping block

Postby Ikan Mas » Sat May 14, 2011 9:15 pm

I'm curious how a closure would work at Castle Crags. Would they just close the gate and allow people like us to walk in? Or would they close the gate and say "No Access Whatsoever?" How would that work with the PCT there? I rather doubt they have thought this out too well, as always seems to be the case when budgets get cut.
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Re: State Parks on the chopping block

Postby maverick » Sun May 15, 2011 9:43 am

Same issue for the Sky Line to the Sea Trail which starts at Castle Rock State Park.
Also this park is a local rock climbing mecca, with all the people visiting it, I
wonder what the reason is for it's closing, surely it can't be funds to.
I'm sure they could have increased the admission to the park, and people would have
still come, especially since this is the only outdoor climbing area that has top rop
and bouldering, only other good place is 2.5-3 hour away at Pinnacles NM.
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Re: State Parks on the chopping block

Postby oldranger » Sun May 15, 2011 9:55 am

Closing State parks is kinda like eliminating highschool sports. Create a crisis and then people find ways to finance what is important to them.

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Re: State Parks on the chopping block

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun May 15, 2011 10:13 am

I think State Parks shot themselves in the foot. Last Fall we camped at McKerricker - a beautiful campground. Cost $35 a night! ANd if you reserve, add another $7 reservation fee. The campground was half full. I think they have priced most people out of using the parks, then cry that they have not enough money. The annual pass is now well over $100 and well more than the annual National Park passes. Much of the services at Henry COe are run by volunteers. Many of the docents at the historical parks are volunteer. I voted for the increased tax for parks, but can understand why some did not. It would help if there was true disclosure on the costs of running the parks vs the income. For example, what agency paid for the huge fire at Henry Coe a few years ago? What administrative costs are for the "commissions" vs actual running of the parks? Are park revenues being eaten up by costs associated with illegal activity and vandalism? I would really like to know where all the money goes. If the larger parks do not generate enough use fees, perhaps they should be transferred to another agency for the purpose of land preservation rather than generating revenue. I think Henry Coe would be a better park if administered by the BLM or Forest Service.
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Re: State Parks on the chopping block

Postby maverick » Sun May 15, 2011 10:42 am

During the radio show they did bring up the example, though did not name the park,
of one parks maintenance costs being $400,000 a year, and the park only brought in
$120,000.
So in these cases what option do these parks have to increase there income?
Also out of 35 million Californians, 4 million visited the state parks, so maybe the state
needs a better advertisement firm representing them.
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Re: State Parks on the chopping block

Postby quentinc » Tue May 17, 2011 5:21 pm

Perhaps the state park service could make up the shortfall by opening medical marijuana outlets and acting as their own supplier. (There are more pot "clinics" than hamburger joints on Venice Boardwalk down here.)

Seriously, when a proposal was previously floated to close Topanga State Park (a popular hiking spot in the L.A. area), park service representatives said they weren't going to make serious efforts to keep people out. But given the general hysteria as to potential liability in the case of people getting hurt in "closed" parks, I can see that position changing.
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Re: State Parks on the chopping block

Postby tim » Sun May 22, 2011 8:04 am

I agree that the campsites in State Parks are pricing themselves out of the market - given the choice I will go for NP/FS campgrounds @$20/night and avoid the $35/night state park campgrounds. There are a few exceptions (usually when they have a great lake on site for swimming, like some of the Tahoe parks), but in places like Big Sur you have a choice and no good reason to pay the premium.
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Re: State Parks on the chopping block

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu May 26, 2011 8:39 am

I heard an interview (parks director) on public radio a few days ago and they said that they may try several methods of maintaing access - more volunteers and perhaps just letting the public use some parks (thinking Henry Coe) with no rangers around as long as the resource is not damaged. If resource damage occurred then they would close gates. They were thinking of using the public as "eyes on the resource" to report back any vandalism or illegal activity. At least they are thinking "outside the box".
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Re: State Parks on the chopping block

Postby rlown » Sat May 28, 2011 12:38 pm

looks like it's more complicated now with the federal funding:

http://www.ktvu.com/news/28059277/detail.html

Synopsis:
SAN FRANCISCO -- The state's current plan to close 70 of California's 278 state parks to help bridge the state's budget gap has hit a snag.
Sixteen of the parks targeted for closure receive federal funding under the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which collects royalties from offshore drilling to buy parklands and wildlife refuges, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
But the fund requires state parks that have received the funds to remain open or, if closed, that a park of equal size is opened nearby.
Jon Jarvis, director of the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., said the funding is a grant to the state, and operates like a contract.
"It is linked directly to the deed of these lands. It says the state makes a commitment to provide these places for public use in perpetuity. To not do that is essentially a breach of that contract," Jarvis said.


read the article for the whole story..
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