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State Parks To Increase Day Use & Camping Fees to Keep More Parks Open

Photo by Dawn Endico via Flickr
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In order to keep some--not all--state parks open, California State Parks will be increasing fees beginning next Monday. The move comes after Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger slashed nearly $39 million from parks last month in the state budget. Officials say that it is likely some parks will close, but are seeking to partner with communities and corporations to keep some open.

“In these dire economic times, we can no longer afford to keep our fees at their current levels,” said State Parks Director Ruth Coleman. “The people of California understand that by charging more, we will be able to keep more parks open and preserved for these and future generations.”

With that said, day-use parking fees will increase by $2 to $5, and camping fees will increase by $10 - $21 a night beginning August 17th. Camping reservations made prior to that date will be honored at the lower price. Additionally, annual passes will go back on sale for $125.

Park officials emphasize that the increase will not bring the system to full self-sufficiency. "Doing that would require steep increases that would price people out of their public park system," a statement said. "These increases are another tool in the efforts being taken by California State Parks to keep more parks open during this time of budget cuts and employee furloughs."