A Guide to the South Bay Surf and Action Sports Scene
Closed until further notice...
On July 1st, more than 40 California State Parks will close due to budget cuts. Following more than 25 years of underfunding, the park system has currently accrued an astounding $1.3 billion in deferred maintenance. Last May, the state government announced that 70 of the state’s parks would close due to $22 million in budget cuts. Since then, 27 parks have saved from closure by nonprofits, local governments, private business and gracious individual donors. At this moment though, 13 coastal beach parks—including surf breaks at Moss Landing near Monterrey and Garrapata in Big Sur—and more than 30 parks inland are slated for closure. Furthermore, parks that will remain open may face a decrease in staffing, hours of operation, days of operation, and fewer available facilities and trails
What are the consequences of these closures and overall service reductions? Possible depletion of valuable (and rather limited) natural resources for one: According to Surfer, when Providence Mountain in San Bernardino was left unsupervised this past winter, the park suffered from over $100,000 in damage due to vandalism to its buildings and limestone caves. Benicia State Park in Solano County fell victim to costly copper theft, and the New York Times cited that an illegal marijuana farm was set up at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park (a booby-trap that consisted of a rifle set up on a trip wire was found when the farm was raided by government agents).
Parks that are threatened by closure will no longer (at least for the foreseeable future) be operated and maintained by the state, but there is a chance that they will not be completely off-limits to the public. Verardo-Torres, a representative of the State Parks Foundation, stated that, ““The state has said, ‘Look, we aren’t going to be the operator of [closed parks]. But we don’t want to close off the public’s access to them… We want good law-abiding people to go into parks and still enjoy them because that’s going to keep non-law-abiding people out.’”
The responsibility of caring for the parks that will close will mostly likely fall to individual volunteers—it’ll be up to them to protect and care for CA's natural resources after the state let’s go of the reins.
For more information, please visit: http://www.surfermag.com/features/state-of-the-parks/