Hiding our Natural Resources

Robert alluded to the closing of state parks, but today we got the bloody details of what Arnold plans to do to our state parks:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest proposal to tackle the state’s $24.3 billion shortfall includes the elimination of all general fund contributions to California’s 279 parks within two years.

It is a nightmare scenario that would mean the public could be barred from visiting 223 parks – that’s 80 percent of the state-owned parks, according to park officials. (SF Gate 5/28/09)

Besides the absolute tragedy of allowing some of our state’s natural treasures being locked up behind a gate, this plan is completely unpractical.  How exactly are we going to stop people from using the beach? Is a lock really going to stop people from going to the state parks? The only thing we are doing is creating what is known in tort law as an “attractive nuisance.” We will create hazardous conditions in state parks that people have been going to for years, and will not stop because of a padlock or a warning sign here or there.

Like so many other of these small-minded cuts, this one is simply not practical and a bad idea for our economy. Take Hearst Castle in San Simeon for example. It is a huge tourist draw for the region. While it doesn’t quite get enough money in park fees to cover the expenses, the net result of the increased tax base in the region is a net benefit to the state.  Without the Castle being open, the region and the state will net a loss of money.  Same thing for parks all across the state.  People come to California to visit our natural resources, and they expect to be able to go to our amazing state parks.  

We are simply cutting off our nose to spite our face at this point. The California State Parks Foundation fought cuts in the past, and they have suggested action items for you now.

The slideshow is a small snippet of some of the parks that would be closed under this proposal. You can view the slideshow larger below the flip.

5 thoughts on “Hiding our Natural Resources”

  1. Our state parks are the basis of much of the economy. Virtually the entire coast from north of Santa Cruz to Montaña de Oro near Morro Bay is a state park. If we close access to them, you’re going to shove a whole region of the state into Depression.

    Which is the entire point of Arnold’s proposals. They are designed to induce a Depression. Government spending is necessary for economic prosperity. I know that the wingnuts have had a lot of success in convincing people otherwise, but these cuts prove the need to have robust levels of government spending.

    Californians do not support Hooverism. Will the Legislature stand up and say “no”?

  2. If the parks go without supervision, won’t they be a haven for being taken over by rogue marijuana farms and the like? Not only will people miss out on them in the short term, but the ecology could be permanently destroyed.

  3. From Dan Bacher, Ed. The Fishsniffer and 1 man Sacramento Progressive media machine.

    Critics are also questioning why under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger the MLPA process has been expanded from a $250,000 process to a $35 million boondoggle at a time of severe financial crisis when the state doesn’t have enough funds to pay wardens and biologists to properly manage and enforce existing fish and game regulations.

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