Saturday, January 19, 2008

Schwarzenegger Proposes to Close 48 State Parks & Cut Lifeguards at 14 State Beaches

Last week Governor Schwarzenegger proposed cutting $13.3 million from the Department of Parks and Recreation general fund budget in 2008-09, in attempt to close the huge $14 billion state deficit. This reduction would mean the closure of 48 state parks out of 278 existing parks and reduce the number of lifeguards at 14 state beaches in Orange, San Diego and Santa Cruz Counties. The department would also eliminate 136 permanent employees that work in the state park system, including park rangers, maintenance workers, scientists and tour guides.

Sierra Club California strongly opposes any effort to close our state parks. These cuts would be devastating to the millions of Californians who rely on their state parks for recreation, educational opportunities and quiet enjoyment of nature.

Shutting down state parks is out of touch with the priorities of Californians. The 48 parks slated for closure represent some of the most significant cultural, historic, and natural resources in the state. State parks slated for closure include Henry Coe near Morgan Hill, Portola Redwoods in San Mateo County, Sutter’s Fort Historic Park in Sacramento, Del Norte Redwoods near the Oregon Border, Pio Pico in Whittier, and Great Valley Grasslands in Merced.

The 14 state beaches that are slated to have lifeguards removed from their shores are some of the most popular state beaches in California. Proposing that California’s state beaches can go through the summer without adequate lifeguard staffing is a dangerous proposal that threatens the health and safety of Californians. Lifeguards would be reduced at Silver Strand State Beach in San Diego, San Clemente State Beach in Orange County, Sunset State Beach south of Santa Cruz and other locations.

Click here for a list of proposed park closures and lifeguard reductions.

We believe that the Governor’s proposal is the wrong way to go about balancing the state’s budget. The total reductions from the state parks budget would only eliminate one-tenth of one percent of the state deficit.

Sierra Club California is contacting legislators and working with them to oppose the closure of any state parks during the budget process. Soon, we will be asking you to contact your legislators and Governor Schwarzenegger to tell them to keep all of California’s state parks open for everyone.

Jim Metropulos
Sierra Club California


Anonymous said...

We have to oppose Schwarzenegger however we can to stop the idea of closing state parks! Let's take the money from building a new freeway, or new government building! Give us the outdoors. It's our environment! We will not give it up!

Robert said...

I have posted two methods to contact your State Assembly and Senate representatives right now on the home page for Delta-Sierra Group which is part of the Motherlode Chapter. You can see this at:

Best regards

Anonymous said...

Now its not just 48 but almost every single state park in California.