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Only 1 State Park (As Opposed to 70) Will Be Shut Down

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Photo by Ken Lund via the Creative Commons on Flickr
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For the last year or so, we've been hearing that the state was planning to shutter 70 state parks—a quarter of the entire system.

Today we're hearing good news for nature-lovers: 69 of those parks will still be open thanks to last-minute deals with outside organizations who stepped in to fund the parks, according to the Los Angeles Times.

But there's bad news, too. First of all, the one park that could not be saved is the Providence Mountains State Recreation Area, which is located in a remote corner of San Bernardino County inside the Mojave National Preserve. It is located up high in the mountains that boasts beautiful vistas of the Mojave Desert. There are also caverns in the park filled with intricate limestone formations, and the state used to host cavern tours through them.

Second, the fate of those other 69 parks isn't secure for the long-term. The 4 other parks that were almost shuttered today might still be shut down very soon if the state can't find someone to take over.

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"We had the time over the last 24 hours to review operations and were able to determine they could stay open in the very short term, likely a few weeks," Richard Stapler, a spokesman for the California Natural Resources Agency, told the Times.

The 65 other parks are in a better position, because donors, nonprofit groups and other outside organizations have stepped in to pick up the state's slack. 25 of those outside deals are still being finalized, and 40 of those deals have been finalized. But the Times notes that some of those finalized deals will only keep parks open for another year.

So now is the time to take a good hard look at this map and plot out which ones you'd like to visit over the next year (or even month). Because it doesn't seem like saving the state parks system is a much of a priority for voters who rejected an $18 vehicle registration fee hike through an initiative in 2010.