Bart Mendoza 5 a.m., Dec. 8
The California Department of Parks and Recreation announced this morning it is planning to close "up to" 70 of its 278 parks, including Palomar Mountain and Salton Sea state recreation area, due to budget cuts.
“We regret closing any park,” said Ruth Coleman, director of California State Parks, in a written statement, “but with the proposed budget reductions over the next two years, we can no longer afford to operate all parks within the system.”
A Brown administration official attempted to use the move as political leverage in the ongoing budget battle with GOP legislators:
“These cuts are unfortunate, but the state’s current budget crisis demands that tough decisions be made,” said Resources Secretary John Laird in the statement. “Hopefully, Republicans in the legislature will agree to allow California voters to decide whether we extend currently existing taxes or make deeper cuts to our parks.”
A final list of closures must be signed off on by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Here is today's release:
Palomar's website is here: