Save Our State Parks

After our walk around Mendocino we stopped in at the local grocery store to gather rations for camping for that night. At the check out it was brought to our attention by one of the local newspapers that all of the state parks that we have been visiting and camping in, in California have been scheduled to close by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal “to close 220 state parks in order to save an estimated $213 million over nearly two years — or about $6 per Californian.”

An excerpt from the NY Times editorial explains it best, “There are no easy trade-offs in this crisis. But it is worth pointing out that state parks — about 80 percent of which would close under the governor’s plan — provide low-cost recreation at a time when low-cost recreation is at a premium. Closing them means no water, no electricity, no public access and — because rangers would be laid off — no policing of what would become vacant lands.” It’s hard to imagine what would become of the State Parks if the state does in fact go through with the plan. But on the other side of things there seems to be a big outcry from the communities in California who don’t believe this is the best plan to save the state some money.

If you look at any map of California you will notice that the whole way up the coast, every few miles there is a state park. It’s been great for us – easily accessible and the view and experience is worth every penny. Those pennies go a long way too when there’s conservation and preservation of natural resources going on. Also, in a lot of these small towns these state parks are there only source of tourism income. These small main streets and local shops depend on the campers, hikers and bikers that come from near and far to enjoy the scenic beauty that can’t be found anywhere else. It’s a wake up call to the community (and not just in California) – the time is now and we need to get our priorities in line.

If your interested further in this issue be sure to check out the Save the State Parks website – a group comprised of community members and local organizations etc who are all making sure this proposal does not go through. Also, read more from The NY Times

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