The 2012-13 Budget: Strategies to Maintain California's Park System
March 2, 2012
The 2012-13 Governor’s Budget includes proposals to address some of the funding challenges currently faced by parks, including the continuation of the plan to close up to 70 state parks by July 2012. However, the Legislature and stakeholders have expressed interest in identifying alternative ways to prevent park closures and, more importantly, help ensure that the park system is adequately maintained and operated in the future. In this report, we evaluate various options that could be adopted to reduce costs or increase revenue for the state park system. Based on this analysis, we recommend specific steps to help maintain the park system, such as transferring the ownership of some state parks to local governments, eliminating the use of peace officers for certain park tasks, allowing private companies to operate some state parks, and increasing park user fees.