California State Parks Closure as Viable Budget Resolution?

California State Parks Closure as Viable Budget Resolution?

Crescent City : CA : USA | Jun 05, 2009 at 4:25 PM PDT
Views: Pending

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed the closure of most state parks and all of the State’s Redwood Parks as a solution to the huge budget woes being faced by the Legislature. Apparently, the situation is so dire that any and all budget cutting options are being looked at. Senator Aanestads’s spokesman, Bill Bird, stated “There is no tax that could make this deficit go away. It would require turning Californians into indentured servants.”

How did things get this bad? The proposal of closing down our State Parks actually seems to be a viable solution? I understand that this might look good on paper for the moment. But have the long term ramifications really been studied? Or maybe just thought about for a minute?

As I understand it, the economy has taken a toll on our state’s income due to a decrease in collected taxes. People aren’t spending their money, if they have any, and that results in less income for the state. I realize this is an over-simplified version of the dilemma but it’s enough to prove my point. I live in Northern California amongst the Redwood State Parks. Our small town, like many, has seen a drastic shortage of jobs over the past years due to the failing fishing and timber industries in our area. Tourism has almost completely replaced those industries. If the Redwood parks were to close we may very well lose the income that keeps our town alive. Why would anyone stop? They can see a few Redwoods from their car window as they drive on past the closed park information centers. Without the parks they have no reason to stay overnight in our hotels, hike through the park trails, eat at local restaurants, shop at local stores. Our tourist town will lose its income. If we have no income we pay no income taxes. No sales tax either since we can’t afford to buy anything. Perhaps some even move to another town, or even, another state. Now, we are only one town of many on the Northern California Coast that relies on the Redwood State Parks for income. Am I the only person who sees a short term solution that is going to cause a long term problem?

katcena is based in Crescent City, California, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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