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Hearing to Examine Unprecedented Closure of State Parks

California Department of Parks and Recreation provided the latest information on the state parks’ closures, and its efforts to work with community groups interested in keeping some of the parks open at an assembly hearing yesterday.  The Committees also reviewed how the Department chose the parks slated for closure next year and explored legal or other liabilities that may come into play. In western Nevada County Bridgeport State Historic Park and the Malakoff Diggins State Park are on the closure list. Assembly member Roger Dickinson chaired the hearing and says the state must determine before the parks are closed if the state will actually save any money.

“Before we venture further down this particular road, we should make sure that the closure plan that has been described will produce meaningful savings and that the cost to mothball 70 parks and the impact of local economies does not outweigh the 22 million dollars we hope to save.”

 Local and regional park associations, law enforcement, environmental organizations and business groups also weighed in on how the pending closures will affect them. California employs more than 1,800 permanent and approximately 805 seasonal staff to administer, protect, operate and maintain the state park system. In 2010, 65 million people visited a California state park.

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