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California State Parks: The parks will remain open, but they’re not out of danger

By Gary Bogue
Monday, October 5th, 2009 at 8:07 am in California State Parks.

Mount Diablo State Park (Brian Murphy/Walnut Creek, CA)

After months of threats to close up to 100 California state parks due to budget woes, last week the governor announced that all 279 of the state’s parks will remain open

Thanks go out to everyone, from Save Mount Diablo, to my many readers who sent e-mails and letters to the governor asking him NOT to close our parks, to the Center for Biological Diversity’s California e-activists, who sent more than 3,500 letters requesting not to close the parks.

Peninsular bighorn sheep
peninsular bighorn

Our beautiful state parks are home to more than 150 at-risk species, from elephant seals to red-legged frogs to Peninsular bighorn sheep (desert bighorns).

A leaked legal memo from state parks’ own lawyers showed that California could be sued for failing to protect closed state-park land for a variety of reasons, including failing to protect listed species. I’m sure that also played a large role in getting the governor to back off from his stupid plan to close the parks.

But since there will still be staff cutbacks, shorter hours, and longer seasonal closures at some parks, the risks to species and habitats still remain.

Here are some thoughts from a Los Angeles Times article by Pete Thomas on how state budget cuts may still affect our parks:

Needless to say, based on the above news article and some things I’ve heard from other sources, we need to stay alert and keep a close eye on what’s happening to make sure protections for California State Parks and the wild species that live there stay in place.

Sunrise over Mount Diablo State Park (Brian Murphy/Walnut Creek, CA)

If you hear about anything bad that may happen to our state parks because of these budget cuts, please let me know about it immediately. If I hear anything, you’ll immediately learn about it here, so stay tuned! And thanks for caring! /Gary

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One Response to “California State Parks: The parks will remain open, but they’re not out of danger”

  1. Kara Says:

    Hi Gary!
    I enjoy reading your column and learn so much from it. I am perplexed with something thats been happening to the lawn in my backyard. I live in a an incorporated part of Antioch, surrounded by other houses with yards. I’ve gone outside to find chunks of our lawn dug up, dirt underneath removed but the top of the grass untouched(and looking like a rug). I find one large hole and a few that are much smaller. I’ve noticed this on two separate occasions and each time, the holes are in different places. I’m confident that these aren’t the work of ground squirrels or gophers- rodents that grew up with in So. Cal. but I have no idea what culprit could be doing this! Any thoughts?
    Thank you!
    Kara Hamilton

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