Even though there is still no list of closed or potentially closed parks, Governor Schwarzenegger is now saying he will close “far fewer than 100,” according to an article in the Mercury News.
A spokesman for the Governor urged cautious optimism, saying “That 100 number isn’t something to hang your hat on” and that they “wanted to find a way to keep as many parks as possible open” and are “still working with the parks department to find other ways to save besides closing parks.” However, no deadline for the finalized list of parks has been set.
The Governor, who ran on a pro-environment stance, is likely not very excited to go down in history as the first Governor in the history of the State Park System to close parks to save money, and is trying to pull out all the stops to make the list as small as he possibly can. Since the threat of park closures was first made, we’ve seen the potential number of closed parks fall from 220 to more than 100 to now, less than 100.
In the meantime, the California State Parks Foundation is trying to get the word out on two legislative bills on the Governor’s desk, which would protect any closed parks from being sold to developers or used for non-park purposes.
The Foundation is also working on getting a ballot initiative on the 2010 ballot, which would impose a $15 surcharge on vehicle registrations to help fund the State Park System. That, apparently, stalled in the Legislature.
And for now, parkgoers will do what they’ve been doing since the State announced they’d have a closure list for us by Labor Day – wait, and hope.
Image by Mike Baird.