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Popular state beaches and parks may close

Original post made by Molly on Jun 3, 2009

The original article posted at Palo Alto Online:

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Ten San Mateo County beaches, including an elephant-seal rookery and a popular hostel and lighthouse, could be closed if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed budget cuts take effect.

The beaches, which make up the bulk of the county's coastal access, could be off limits by as soon as Labor Day, according to state officials.

The closures are part of a proposed plan to close 59 parks and beaches due to a state budget crisis. Popular beaches in Santa Cruz County, including Natural Bridges State Beach, home to migrating Monarch butterflies, could also be closed.

According to the California State Parks Department, the San Mateo County beaches that may close include:

* Ano Nuevo State Park, home to the elephant seals
* Bean Hollow State Beach, a crescent-shaped cove known for its agate- and jasper-pebbled beach
* Gray Whale Cove State Beach
* Half Moon Bay State Beach
* Montara State Beach
* Pescadero State Beach
* Point Montara Light Station, a lighthouse and hostel
* Pomponio State Beach
* San Gregorio State Beach, which includes a lagoon frequented by pelicans
* Thornton State Beach

Santa Cruz County beaches include: Lighthouse Field, Manresa, Natural Bridges, New Brighton, Seacliff, Sunset and Twin Lakes.

In addition to the beach closures, residents would lose access to state parks.

In San Mateo County, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Burleigh Murray Ranch, Butano State Park and Portola Redwoods State Park would close. Santa Clara County would lose Henry W. Coe State Park.

In Santa Cruz County, Castle Rock State Park (on Skyline Boulevard south of state Highway 9), Castro Adobe, Henry Cowell State Park, Santa Cruz Mission, the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park and Wilder Ranch would close.

Comments (5)

Posted by Molly, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Please let's find a way to keep the parks. I moved out here from South Carolina and miss the Blue Ridge Mountains. Castle Rock State Park is my favorite place to go to stay sane and get a break from the high-density Bay Area. Miles, the park ranger has worked there for 30 years - listen to the interesting stories he tells.

The thought that this pristine park could be closed to citizens and sold off to developers makes me sick to my stomach.

I'm doing the Skyline to Sea trail with friends in July - it goes through two of the proposed parks to close, including the Big Basin Redwoods, home of the beautiful Redwood trees.

Parks aren't just a luxury - they're an education. They teach everyone to value nature, the cycle of life - they give kids a chance to see something different.

Could the Sierra Club or environmental groups offer to buy them if they go on the market?


Posted by Mike Laursen, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 3, 2009 at 9:55 pm

The politicians are engaging in scare tactics, hoping to soften up the public for tax increases. They are scared to cut more significant budget items that would hurt their support base, such as public employee retirement benefits.


Posted by Molly, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Mike - This is what I've heard too. Is it the only way to get the people to pass needed taxes? I'd like to think it's not - but then again - people definitely hate more taxes.

Ugh.


Posted by oh no, a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 4, 2009 at 2:23 pm

brilliant. close local tourist spots at the one time people are most likely to use them (tough economy = staycation). this is bad for local tourism and will further depress the local economies.

some very nice family beaches are on the list! very bad for families like mine that are on a budget...

sad sad sad :(


Posted by Mr. Bolt Cutter, a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2009 at 7:15 am

Let's stick together and cut the locks, bolt cutters are cheap.


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