At a noontime press conference today, the California State Parks announced its long-anticipated plans to close 70 of its 278 parks "due to budget cuts." The department stated in a press release:
The closures are necessary to achieve an $11 million reduction in the next fiscal year 2011/12, and $22 million in the following fiscal year 2012/13. These cuts were mandated by AB 95, which was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in March.
“We regret closing any park,” said Ruth Coleman, director of California State Parks, “but with the proposed budget reductions over the next two years, we can no longer afford to operate all parks within the system.”
“These cuts are unfortunate, but the state’s current budget crisis demands that tough decisions be made,” said Resources Secretary John Laird. “Hopefully, Republicans in the legislature will agree to allow California voters to decide whether we extend currently existing taxes or make deeper cuts to our parks.”
We'll have the complete list of the parks to be closed posted shortly. And stay tuned for a report from Sacramento bureau chief John Myers, who attended (and tweeted) the press conference .
Update 12:43pm: The State Parks web site is getting slammed, so here's a list of the closures provided by the Sacramento Bee. Here's the complete list directly from the State Parks department in pdf form.