Once again California is threatening to close state parks. Seventy (out of 270) parks are on the chopping block this time around (see an interactive map of the planned closures). The plan is to place the parks in “caretaker status,” which means gates would be closed and people would not be allowed to enter.
What a dismal idea from a state known for its entrepreneurial energy.
There are a few ideas being tossed around to keep parks open but they lack luster. There was Proposition 21, the regressive car tax that was rejected by voters last year. Now there is Senate Bill 356, which would require the state to give counties and cities a chance to take over operations of closed state parks in their areas. And there are plenty of statements such as those by State Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) who said that park closures were inevitable, but that he would work to allow nonprofits to take over park operations in appropriate situations.