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California State Parks

March 20, 2012
Going too green? Re " More than a color clash ," March 16 I was greatly saddened by the snafu regarding the green bike lane in front of City Hall interfering with the film industry's use of a prime location. I have been a bicycle commuter for five years, and let's be honest, Angelenos treat our streets like highways. For a better city, we need to change this. We no longer have residential areas, just shortcuts for speeding cars. Just crossing a street is dangerous, let alone bicycling.
February 29, 2012
No money, no park Re "A park left vulnerable," Feb. 25 The one thing that will save Mitchell Caverns (and other shuttered state parks) is the one thing California probably will not do: The state should sell the park to someone who will take care of the place. Owners take far better care of their property. Sure, any buyers would want to make the park profitable, but what's wrong with that? With a little investment and promotion, Mitchell Caverns and other parks like it could become tourist attractions to an extent they never have been previously.
February 25, 2012 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Providence Mountains State Recreation Area, Calif. -- California parks officials closed a gem of the state park system last spring, sadly shuttering Mitchell Caverns, a natural wonder that for eight decades had drawn visitors to this remote spot in the Mojave Desert. Workers hauled away the precious Native American artifacts and historical documents and locked the gates, assuming the area would sit undisturbed until the state could afford to reopen it. But several times in the last four months, vandals traveled 16 desolate miles north from Interstate 40 to plunder and damage the park's isolated structures.
December 2, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
The good news: Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve has been given a reprieve from the budget-chopping plan to shut 70 California State Parks by next summer. The bad news: Visitors will have to pay a new fee to stop at the ancient saltwater lake in the Eastern Sierra near Lee Vining, Calif. State parks announced Thursday that the Bodie Foundation has stepped forward and signed a contract to collect fees -- no word yet on how much -- at Mono Lake that would raise money to keep the park open.
October 17, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Three California State Parks of the 70 slated to be closed next year because of the state's budget crisis have been given a reprieve for at least a year. The National Park Service has agreed to step in and operate these state parklands that fall within national boundaries: --Tomales Bay State Park in Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area; --Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Golden Gate National Recreation Area; --Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park within Redwood National Park, near Crescent City.
June 29, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
California's budget passed Tuesday night by the Legislature still includes a plan, announced in May, to shutter about 70 state parks amid deep cuts made to education, courts and social programs. Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the new budget before the new fiscal year starts Friday. But don't worry if you have camping reservations at any of those sites through the end of this year. Tentative plans are to postpone park closures until 2012 and refund campsite fees for reservations at parks that close, according to California State Parks spokesman Roy Stearns.
May 29, 2011
June: If you believe summer kicks off with Memorial Day weekend, then let us help you celebrate the season. We'll start with the first 34 days (which conveniently takes us through the month of June): May 28: Celebrate the unofficial start of summer with an outdoor movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The 10th season of Cinespia kicks off tonight with a screening of "Vertigo. " Bring blankets and picnics and be prepared to scream. Movies are freakier when there are dead people around.
May 14, 2011 | By Shane Goldmacher and Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento -- A surge in revenue has prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to scale back his proposal for more taxes, even as his administration on Friday announced its intention to close 70 state parks. Officials familiar with Brown's plans said the revised budget he presents Monday will propose raising income tax rates on Californians for four years rather than the five he initially wanted. The higher rate would not take effect until 2012. The governor will continue to push for a five-year extension of increases in sales taxes and vehicle fees that are due to expire by July 1, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plan has not been made public.
May 13, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Come fall, Californians could find themselves with fewer parks to visit and fewer services available at parks that are open. That was the tenor of the plan that California State Parks officials outlined Friday as they targeted for shutdown 70 of the state's 278 parks because of budget problems. But don't panic. The closure plan is far from final, and in the meantime, summer camping reservations are being honored, officials said. Several parks on the hit list are in Southern California , including popular and well-known places such as: McGrath State Beach near Ventura, which draws campers and bird-watchers; Fort Tejon State Historic Park in the Grapevine Canyon north of Los Angeles, with restored adobes and exhibits on Army life; Palomar Mountain State Park in San Diego County, near the world-famous Palomar Observatory, which offers mountainous hiking trails with views of the Pacific; And the quirky and fascinating Salton Sea State Recreation Area in Riverside County, known for its bird life and infamous for its periodic mass die-offs of fish.
March 11, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Deal & Travel blogger
Campers were evacuated from park campgrounds from Ventura to Crescent City early Friday in response to the tsunami warning for the California coast triggered by the Japanese earthquake. Beaches in Los Angeles and Orange counties also were closed. The California Department of Parks and Recreation issued a statement about the closures. Near Crescent City , where 8-foot waves battered the city's harbor, campgrounds at Usal and Bear Harbor in the Sinkyone Wilderness area were evacuated and closed.
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