State Park Changes a Few Days Away

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Besighyawn, Flickr
    Hiking on Mt. Tam

    In just a few days, parks across the state will reduce service and adopt other cost-saving measures in order to meet budget cuts.

    In September, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that about 100 state parks, which were slated to close because of last-minute line-item vetoes he made in July and other cuts in the state budget, would remain open.

    However, he said service reductions would be essential in saving $14.2 million necessary to help close the budget deficit.

    Beginning Nov. 1, all 279 parks will adopt some sort of cost-saving measures including:

    • Days open reduced by two to three weekdays
    • Closing portions of campgrounds or outlying day-use areas
    • Closing park offices
    • Reducing lifeguard levels
    • Closing about half of restrooms at some beaches

    Here are some of the highlights:

    Six parks in Marin County will affected by the reductions. Olompali State Historic Park will be closed to public use M-F through June 30, 2010.

    The Back Ranch Meadows Campground at China Camp State Park will be open on weekends and some holidays on a first-come, first-served basis through March 25, 2010.

    Most restroom facilities at Angel Island State Park will be open on weekends and some holidays through April 30, 2010.

    The Madrone Group Camp and Irving Group Picnic Day Use areas at Samuel P. Taylor State Park will be closed through March 26, 2010. The family campground will be opened as needed and available on a first-come, first-served basis through March 25, 2010. Restroom facilities in closed areas will also be closed.

    The Tomales Bay State Park main park entrance, Shell Beach parking lot and Millerton Point parking lot will only be open weekends and some holidays through June 30, 2010. Restroom facilities in closed areas will not be open.

    Mt. Tamalpais State Park's upper mountain will only be open to  vehicles on weekends and some holidays through June 30, 2010. Some restrooms in these areas will also be closed.

    As the changes go into effect, keep in mind that these are still OUR parks. Everyone should do their part to help keep them clean as fewer employees will be picking up trash and patrolling the grounds. And remember what your mom said: clean up after yourself and with the bathroom closures, "go before you go."

    Bay City News contributed to this report.