Tuesday, November 03, 2009

California state park closures start this week

Cutbacks at state parks are the result of California's struggling finances. In Santa Cruz County, the reductions began earlier this fall as local park administrators anticipated the hits and began trying to save where they could - locking little-used restrooms and putting out fewer trash cans to reduce maintenance and patrol costs.

This week, though, the full menu of cuts took hold. Day-use parking lots were shut to weekday visitors at Palm State Beach and Manresa Uplands, and longer winter closures began at campgrounds at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and Manresa Uplands.
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Nearly all parks are now offering fewer services and less upkeep.

Local administrators say they're trying to target the cuts to where the fewest people are affected.

"Visitors may not be able to go to their favorite campground in the mountains," said Karl Tallman, a parks superintendent who oversees Big Basin Redwoods and a handful of nearby parks. "But at least they'll have a campground to go to."
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