Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

California seeks sponsors for state parks,0,1097002.story?track=rss

Luis Sincon / Los Angeles Times
The remains of a once thriving gold mining community are the main attractions of Bodie State Historic Park. But the ghost town receives mainly seasonal visitors who do not generate enough revenue to keep the park open.

With only 13 of 279 parks and beaches financially self-sustaining, officials are desperate for new sources of funding to keep some of the vulnerable ones from being closed because of budget cuts.
By Louis Sahagun July 30, 2009

State parks officials and nonprofit organizations scrambled Wednesday to find funding and possibly new corporate sponsors to keep as many as 100 parks and beaches open after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger slashed an additional $6.2 million out of the state parks system.Budget cuts also suspended a land conservation program that has been hailed as a key to preventing sprawl and easing economic pressure on farmers and ranchers.

Greenspace: The Times' environment blog
More cuts to California state parks
State officials won't finalize a list of park closures until Labor Day and said they hope to see the parks reopened in one to two years."We are actively seeking anyone who can help us with these places, all of them jewels, at a time when people need them most," said state parks Director Ruth Coleman.

"There are many groups and corporations that will step up to the plate and try to help," said Elizabeth Goldstein, executive director of the California State Parks Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting state parks. "But it would be a mistake to think that these efforts will be sufficient to replace the public funds being extracted."

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