More California state parks to remain open–only 15 of 278 still scheduled to close
By Bob Difley
In a previous post on efforts to keep California State Parks open I commended the good work by Ruth Coleman, her staff, and others to keep parks open by going the extra step, being creative, and thinking outside the box.
Well, some good news came today when Michael Harris, the acting chief deputy director for the state parks department, said that in addition to the agreements already in place to keep eleven parks open and operating, negotiations are underway with concessionaires and nonprofit groups to protect about 40 others.
This is good news for not only the residents and visitors to California, but also for all RVers that visit the state and stay in some of the most scenic state parks in the country (photo – Montagne de Oro State Park, 6 miles south of Morro Bay). The closures of the parks, historic sites, and beaches that would have closed due to budget shortfalls are now down to only 15 of the state’s 278 parks that will close on July 1st.
Originally I was on the fence about turning over state parks to private concessionaires, but the alternative of closing the parks instead swayed me over. However, I hope the deals were written so that both private concessionaires and the public are both happy with the results, and the parks will not turn “commercial,” but remain as natural and beautiful as they are today.
It is a brave deal on the part of the parks department and now we will see whether it works out, and whether it may serve as the model for other states in the same budget mess. We will all keep our collective fingers crossed.
Check out my website for more RVing tips and destinations and for my ebooks, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands (or for Kindle version), Snowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts (Kindle version), and 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang out of your RV Lifestyle Dollar (Kindle version).