One of the problems with the plan to close state parks is that it is a different process for each of the 70 parks on the list. That means the date that each one will close is different. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to find out when each one will close. That’s frustrating, isn’t it?!
So we’ve slowly started the process of tracking the status of the 70 parks. No full closures have happened yet (though McGrath and Henry W. Coe both narrowly avoided it at the last minute). However, service reductions and partial closures keep getting worse and they are impacting parks on the closure list. Here are a couple examples of service reduction information that is available on the state’s official website:
Until further notice these parks will contain areas where services are reduced or eliminated due to the fiscal crisis.
- Samuel P. Taylor State Park
Beginning Sept. 5, 2011, family campsites will operate on a first-come, first-served basis ONLY until further notice. All group campsites at Devil’s Gulch and Madrone and Irving Group Picnic will be closed completely until further notice.
- Russian Gulch State Park
Day use will remain open during the winter, but Russian Gulch campground is now closed until further notice.
- Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park
Trash removal reduction; “Pack it in, Pack it out” signs posted. Closure of flush restrooms at Visitor Center; portable toilet installed at Visitor Center. Park office closed; heat set to 55 degrees to protect artifacts and exhibits.
- Brannan Island State Recreation Area
Closed Tuesdays through Thursdays. Camping unavailable on Monday through Thursday nights. Day Use open Friday through Monday. Visitor Center is now closed.
These are just a few examples. There will be more to report on, and we will be sure to do that. But you are all out visiting parks every day. What are you seeing and hearing out in the parks? What’s being posted in your local state park, regardless if it is on the list or not? Please post your own report in the comments. (If you have a photo to share, please post it to our Facebook page.)
While on the one hand we are doing this sad information gathering, on the other we are finding ways to celebrate the 70 parks and tell their stories before it’s too late. That is why we created this new website, The Magnificent 70. If you haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, you should! There are gorgeous photos from all 70 parks, and as you scroll through the photos, you can also read unique stories about each park.
Here’s to keeping our eyes and ears on the parks.