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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Southern California

11 State Parks Expected to Stay Open

Funding allowed eleven California State Parks to stay open after cuts lead to the closing of 70 parks.

Eleven of the 70 California State Parks that were expected to close this summer will remain open, officials announced Wednesday.

Donner Memorial State Park is one of many California parks(Photo courtesy AP).
Donner Memorial State Park is one of many California parks(Photo courtesy AP).

Arrangements for funding from federal and local government agencies aim to keep the parks operating.

This number could increase as more negotiations are in place to bring back 40 more parks from the list, according to Michael Harris, acting Chief Deputy Director for the State Department of Parks and Recreation.

The 70 parks were expected to shut down in an effort to save $11 million annually for the state.

Once word of the closings reached the public sector, national organizations worked on saving the parks. Last month, permission was granted to solicit private agencies to issue grants to operate certain parks.

Since then, 83 organizations have shown interest in helping the department keep the parks operating in various ways, State Parks Spokesman Roy Stearns said.

The National Park Service will operate three parks while a private donor gave the state $300,000 for another park.

Stearns warned that only the 11 parks with firm agreements were taken off the list.

“Another 35 show some promise,” Stearns said. “That’s a long way from having a clear indicator that most will remain open.”

The longevity of the California State Parks, those that are being saved as well as the ones that may shut down in the future, is still unclear as funding will continue to be sparse.

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