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California State Park Service Cuts Take Effect Nov. 1; Sample List Posted

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

State park districts throughout California have finalized their service
reduction plans, and major changes are set to take effect Nov. 1, Roy
Stearns, deputy director for the California State Parks Communications
Office, announced Tuesday.

Some of the cuts were implemented shortly after the state’s budget
was passed, Stearns said in a news release, but the Nov. 1 reductions,
which include changes to park hours, will be much more noticeable.

The service cuts are part of the $14.2 million budget savings plan
that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Sept. 25 in efforts to keep
parks open while causing the least disruption to visitors.

“The 21 State Park District Superintendents were tasked with the
responsibility of assigning service reductions for their respective
areas on a park-by-park basis,” Stearns said in the release. A
“statewide snapshot” released by the State Parks Communications Office,
posted below, gives examples of reductions the parks are making.

The service cuts being implemented will ensure the system stays
within budget during the remainder of this fiscal year, which ends June
30, 2010.

For more information, visit the California State Parks home page, www.parks.ca.gov.

Examples of reductions being made, by region, follow.


State Parks: Examples of Service Reduction Plans




  • Silver Strand SB in San Diego will see 50% lifeguard reductions off-season
    (September to February). Trash cans and fire rings will be removed from the beach and
    over half of the restrooms will be closed to minimize housekeeping costs (half of
    restrooms on beach side and all of restrooms on bay side closed weekdays, open as
  • The visitor Center at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park will be closed Tuesday and
    Wednesday every week (previously it was open 7 days each week October through
  • Popular beach parks in Orange County will reduce by half the number of trash cans
    on the beach. Restroom cleaning and fire ring cleaning will be reduced by half. There
    will be no off-season chemical toilets and lifeguards will be limited to response by
    permanent staff. Trail upkeep and habitat restoration will be reduced by 50%.
    Educational and interpretive programs will be reduced by 25%. Irrigation will be
    reduced by 25%.
  • Palomar Mountain SP will close the campgrounds and most day use November through
    March (previously open all year), leaving only Silvercrest Day Use Area open.
  • Lake Perris SRA will be closed every Tuesday and Wednesday. Nearby Silverwood SRA
    will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, leaving only 1 weekday without reservoir
    recreation opportunities in the Inland Empire. Both reservoirs had previously been open
    every day.
  • Carpinteria State Beach, near Santa Barbara, will have reduced trash pickups,
    decreased restroom cleaning, midweek closure of the Anacapa campground loop (27 sites)
    and lifeguard service reduced from 8 hours to 6 hours per tower.
  • Emma Wood State Beach will close group camp October to March (typically low-use
    period) and close 30 campsites at North Beach (opening weekends and holidays as
    needed). Lifeguard service reduced from 8 hours to 6 hours per tower.
  • California Citrus SHP will be closed Monday through Thursday (previously open 7
    days). Hours open will be 8 to 5 (previously 8 to 7).
  • Chino Hills SP will be closed to all vehicles Monday through Thursday (previously
    open 7 days). Hours open will be 8 to 5 (previously 8 to 7).
  • Mount San Jacinto SP campground will be closed Monday through Wednesday (previously
    open 7 days). Backpackers will be charged $5 per person (previously no fee charged to
    wilderness users)


Central California


  • Hearst Castle will attempt to maintain 100% of the tour schedule by reducing all
    other public services (maintenance, curatorial, ticket office, security). Beginning in
    March it will increase operating hours using a self-guided tour option in an effort to
    increase revenue without increased tour costs.
  • Petaluma Adobe SHP may be closed 3 days per week (previously open 7 days). The
    closure allows the popular Environmental Living School Programs to continue, however
    live animals will no longer populate the Rancho.
  • Angel Island SP will close all restrooms on the island except Ayala cove and the
    Immigration Station through April 2010 (opening weekends and holidays as
    needed).Environmental Living school programs and other educational and interpretive
    programs will be limited until seasonal interpretive staff can be brought on.
  • Sacramento Historic sites (including Sutter’s Fort, Governor’s Mansion, Stanford
    Mansion and State Indian Museum) will be closed on Mondays (previously open 7 days).
    School group tours will be reduced.
  • Folsom Lake SRA will close several outlying units seasonally (November to April)
    including; Skunk Hollow, Nimbus Overlook and North Granite Bay and others. The park
    will also close 1 hour earlier (from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m. in summer and from 7p.m. to 6
    p.m. in winter).
  • Marshall Gold Discovery SHP will be closed 3 days each week, keeping open the most
    popular days for school groups (previously closed Mondays only). School reservations
    will be reduced by as much as half.
  • Sugar Pine Point SP will close all winter camping (previously 1 camp loop was kept
    open, snow plowed and heated restroom available). No cross country ski trails will be


Northern California


  • Benecia Capitol SHP will be closed Monday through Wednesday (previously only closed
    Monday and Tuesday).
  • Candlestick Point SRA parking lots and 4 (out of 6) restrooms will be closed
    Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Olompali SHP will be closed Monday through Friday from November to June (previously
    7 days).
  • Mendocino Headlands SP (day-use only park) will close restrooms and turn off
    utilities, remove and store all trash receptacles and close visitor center Tuesday
    through Thursday.
  • Bidwell Mansion and Ide Adobe SHP, near Chico, (both relatively small historic
    parks) will cancel all school programs, docent training and special events for this
    year. Their visitor centers will be closed Monday through Wednesday (previously closed
    Mondays only).
  • Portola Redwoods SP will be closed Sunday through Thursday from November through
    April (previously just campground closure December through April).
  • Big Basin Redwoods SP campground closed Sunday through Thursday from December
    through March (previously open year round).
  • Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park will close December through February due to low
    revenue, high costs and challenging winter weather (previously open all year).

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