48 State Parks Slated for Closure

Every responsible state budget means someone gets to swallow some bitter pills when their pet project gets slashed. You can’t reign in government waste and keep everyone happy. I get that.

But Governor Schwarzenegger’s plan to shutter 48 of California’s magnificent state parks is not just a blow to people who like to spend their weekends in them — it doesn’t make fiscal sense. Total savings from closing 48 parks? $9 million annually — less than 0.1 percent of the state budget. What can a state buy for $9 mil these days? Meanwhile, the cost to the spiritual and physical health of the state would be incalculable.

The state’s obligation to maintain a few slivers of natural land for public use seems crystal clear. The question, I suppose, is how much land, and at what expense? Fortunately state parks are cheap to run, and we’re talking about tiny specs of real estate in the big picture.

Check the map of proposed closures on the governor’s own site (also as PDF).

Then, let the governor know that Californians won’t make this particular sacrifice, especially not at this miniscule benefit/cost ratio.

Music: Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama :: Without The Help Of Jesus

2 Replies to “48 State Parks Slated for Closure”

  1. Perhaps it is about reclaiming the land, and then selling it for profit?

    Short term thinking, again. I worked at a school once that wanted to sell off half of their ovals, as it would provide a (small, really) one-time injection of funds. Looks really good on a balance sheet.

    Looks really bad when the school’s population rises again, and you need that extra space. It’s pretty hard to buy back all of the houses, and knock them all down…

  2. Hey Scot-

    It’s been a while (as I’m catching up on my blog reading). Anyways, thanks for sending the red flag up on this one – already shared my thoughts on the subject.

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