Politics & Government

Schwarzenegger would close most California state parks

Not on the list: Mount Diable, Calif.
Not on the list: Mount Diable, Calif. Susan Pollard/Contra Costa Times

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to eliminate funding for the state parks system would close 220 locations, including Sutter's Fort and the State Capitol Museum in Sacramento, according to a list released by the administration.

Only parks that are self-sufficient or receive local government financial support would remain open, 59 in all.

The governor made the proposal this week to save $70 million in 2009-10 and help close a $24.3 billion budget deficit.

Schwarzenegger proposed closing 48 parks last year, but dropped the plan in negotiations with the Legislature. Some critics believe the amount of savings is so small that the governor may be using high-visibility park closures to increase public pressure on lawmakers to make other cuts more quickly.

In Sacramento, five of six state parks would close. Besides Sutter's Fort and the California State Capitol Museum, the plan envisions closing the Governor's Mansion, the Leland Stanford Mansion and the State Indian Museum. Old Sacramento State Historic Park, including the California State Railroad Museum, would remain open.

Nearby Folsom State Recreation Area and Auburn State Recreation Area would stay open because they are funded by boating gas taxes.

By and large, the parks that would remain open are state beaches and parks popular among users of motorized vehicles such as boats, 4x4s and ATVs.

Read the complete story at sacbee.com

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