More Time Needed to Decide which State Parks to Close

Neighborhood watch-style groups will have to do the work of rangers to prevent illegal activity in closed state parks unless voters approve a vehicle license fee or some other method is found to save the beleaguered park system, officials and park supporters said Tuesday.

California State Parks officials - who had planned to tell the public this week which state parks were going to be closed this year due to budget cuts - admitted Tuesday that the job of determining which parks to shutter is more complicated than they thought it would be.

State Parks brace for Closures and Fee Increases

California's state parks have wide disparities in the number of visitors they attract and the revenues they generate, two of the key factors officials are using to determine which parks they will close to make up for budget cuts.

State parks officials estimate that 100 parks will close in California, and their decisions about which parks will get the bad news will probably come soon after Labor Day.

Optimism Spreads that fewer State Parks will Shut Down

SACRAMENTO – State parks are not out of the woods.

Yet there is a growing sense of relief on the trail and around the campfire now that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to close 220 of the state's 279 parks will be downsized considerably.

“We're breathing a little easier, but we're still being cautious,” said Linda Tandle, executive director of the Anza-Borrego Foundation. 

Park Closure to Leave Desert Businesses High and Dry?

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposal to close a majority of state parks to help reduce the budget deficit could greatly harm local economies, including Borrego Springs, which relies heavily on tourism brought by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, one organization says.

According to the Anza-Borrego Foundation, which counts 2,300 members, visitors who come to the park often stop in town and the park’s closure would devastate businesses there.

Wildflowers Bloom in Anza-Borrego

The word is spreading like, like, well, like wildflowers!

The wildflowers are blooming in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

In a region where the seasons can seem short and mixed-up, the wildflower season at the 600,000-acre park is a sure sign that spring is on its way.

It's Southern California's version of Groundhog Day. This year's season has gotten off to an early start. Blooms of brittlebush, chuparosa, popcorn flower, sand verbena, spectacle pod, and desert lily have popped up in recent days, according to the Anza-Borrego Foundation and Institute.

The Gift of Wildflowers - Couple donates two 80-acre parcels of land to state park.

An Indian Wells couple have donated 160 acres of prime wildflower land to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Steve and Linda Kay's donation was appraised at $400,000, park officials said.

But to many, it's priceless.

“The donated land is part of the finest wildflower areas in Borrego Valley, and it's crucial we get as much of it preserved as possible,” park Superintendent Mark Jorgensen said.

“It's a tremendous piece of property,” said Gail Sevrens of the Colorado Desert District.

PUC hears case for, against Powerlink

SAN FRANCISCO – Whether San Diego Gas & Electric Co. should build a massive power line into the Imperial Valley goes to the heart of a debate that's gripping California and the country as it works to wean itself from fossil fuels.

Is it better to rely on huge solar, wind and geothermal power plants far away or generate that power close to where it is needed?

The case involving the Sunrise Powerlink is part of a struggle “with fundamental issues of the utility of the future,” John Bohn, a member of the California Public Utilities Commission, said yesterday.


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