McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. Photo By Richard Sharp
Californians will soon see major changes at a number of state parks. To make up for 14 million dollars in budget cuts, many parks will be cutting their hours and their staffs.
The changes are the kind that park-goers will notice. Some parks will be open only a few days a week. There will be fewer open restrooms, trash cans and open campgrounds. There will also be fewer school tours of historic parks such as Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento – and new, self-guided tours at Hearst Castle:
“We’re asking our visitors to please understand the difficult fiscal situation that we are in.”
Sheryl Watson is with State Parks. She says decisions were based on the park’s popularity:
“The districts are being selective in which parks to reduce hours and which days to reduce and making the decisions based on attendance.”
Watson says parks will be hiring fewer seasonal workers and cutting back on maintenance like painting. Park officials had warned that more than 100 parks would have to close due to budget cuts, but the Governor ordered them to find other ways to save money instead.