Calif. officials propose closing 70 state parks, including 2 in - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Calif. officials propose closing 70 state parks, including 2 in SD

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two state parks in North County were included on a list of 70 locations around California slated for closure because of budget cuts.

Palomar Mountain State Park and San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park could be shut down in July 2012, according to state parks officials.

The nearly 1,900-acre site on Palomar Mountain includes camping, picnicking, hiking and fishing, along with long-distance views of the Pacific Ocean.

The San Pasqual location east of Escondido commemorates the bloody 1846 clash in the Mexican-American War between the forces of generals Stephen Kearny and Andres Pico.

State officials said they tried to preserve the most historical and culturally significant parks, but they were required to cut back to save $11 million in the next fiscal year, and $22 million the year after.

"When the governor first proposed the cut to state parks, we warned that the closures would be devastating, and clearly they will be," said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation. "At a time when local communities are struggling to be part of the state's recovery, this proposal shuts the door to a vital part of our economy. Closing these parks is going in the wrong direction."

Goldstein said the number of closures represents one-quarter of the state parks system.

The list includes the largest park in Northern California, Henry W. Coe State Park southeast of San Jose; the historic home of author Jack London in Sonoma County; and several that feature the state's iconic redwood trees.


This is a story update. The original story is below.


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown's administration is proposing to close a quarter of all state parks because of budget cuts approved by the state Legislature.

California State Parks Director Ruth Coleman released the list of parks (PDF file) Friday. She says California can no longer afford to operate 278 state parks. Of those, 70 will close under her plan.

The cuts are a result of a bill Brown signed into law last month that trims $11 million from the parks budget in the fiscal year that begins July 1, and $22 million the next fiscal year.

Among those scheduled to close are the Governor's and Leland Stanford mansions in Sacramento, the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, the Salton Sea State Recreation Area and the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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