Monday, February 04, 2008

terminating california's state parks and lifeguards

With California fiscally drowning deeper into the red, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently proposed a round of painful budget cuts in an attempt to close an eye-popping, $14.5 billion projected deficit. The Governor's plan to shutter 48 parks and beaches in California's prized state park system stands out as among the most controversial of the reductions.

A fallen redwood in Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve. This lovely photo was snapped by Flauto and is published here on starfish and waffles under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License.

Parks on the chopping block include Topanga State Park, Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve, Morro Strand State Beach, and Candlestick Point State Recreation Area.

The closures are expected to save the state $13.3 million in fiscal 2008-09 - or a miniscule 0.009% of the estimated budget shortfall.

Such meager cost savings have critics haranguing the shortsightedness of Schwarzenegger's proposals.

According to state officials, the affected parks hosted 6.5 million visitors in 2007. Those visitors included school groups of urban children with limited opportunities to experience green space and legions of avid hikers, joggers, surfers, campers, and artists.

Click here, for the full story at

Believe it or not, Felix writes for the Ethical Traveler news team. Ethical Traveler is a project of the California-based Earth Island Institute.

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