Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Lack of public attendance, poor revenue management, high maintenance to blame.

A government oversight agency is recommending that the state transfer control of many beloved state parks to local and private entities who can do a better job of maintaining the properties.

Parks like Fort Tejon, have active living history programs that are threatened with closure because of the state's budget woes.

Parks like Fort Tejon, have active living history programs that are threatened with closure because of the state's budget woes.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/26/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: California, state parks, Ft. Tejon, Hearst Castle, costs, management, funds, Little Hoover Commission, taxes, budget, maintenance


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The nonprofit Little Hoover Commission said on Monday that years of growth and acquisition have left the state with more land than it can manage.

Much of that land has fallen into disuse as looming budget cuts have stalled maintenance and improvements. Poor financial management may also be to blame.

Many people are not paying when they visit parks either, causing the parks to miss out on badly-needed revenues. State Parks such as the Fort Tejon State Historic Park near Lebec, CA, just under an hour's drive north of Los Angeles, often relies on the use of an "iron ranger" to collect fees from visitors.

An iron ranger is a hollow metal tube with a slot where visitors can slip in a fee on the honor system. The end result is many people don't realize they need to pay, or simply choose not to.

Fort Tejon has an active living history program which shares with the public the nature of daily life at the historic fort. The park also hosts Civil War reenactments and other living history events. This could be lost if the park is closed, costing Californians a living treasure.

Some parks have seen drops in visitor attendance numbers as the economy and high gas prices have compelled would-be visitors to make tougher choices about where to spend their money.

The state park system has been rocked in recent months with allegations of poor accounting practices, mismanagement of funds, and the threat of closures for many parks. Just as the state planned to close many parks, some $54 million in money was found on the books, giving the parks, and the public a temporary reprieve.

The Commission suggests the state give up some of its parks because they cost too much to keep open and the alternative of outright closure would prevent the public from enjoying them. Living and historic treasures would be lost, potentially forever.

One prominent example is Hearst Castle along the Central California Coast. The mountaintop mansion once belonged to publishing giant, William Randolph Hearst and is now one of the most beloved state parks. Unfortunately, maintenance costs for the mansion are prohibitively high and despite the fees charged to visitors, they are not keeping pace with those costs.

Many local governments, and private associations would not likely be able to cover the expenses of many of these parks either.

The most likely result is that these parks will either continue to fall into states of disrepair so great they will have to be closed out of concern or public safety.

The only remaining option for some parks may be to transfer them to private ownership, with special conditions to ensure the properties are preserved. However, finding willing buyers could be difficult.

For now, the parks will remain open for another year but that may change within the next two years. If the economic situation in California does not substantially improve, many would-be park goers and volunteers will find only chains-instead of iron rangers and living treasures, at the gates of their beloved parks.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More U.S.

On the Growing Calls to Put the Death Penalty to Death and the Right to Life Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I applaud the joint editorial of America magazine, the National Catholic Register, the National Catholic Reporter and Our Sunday Visitor, in standing together in opposition to the death penalty. How about another editorial from the four, opened up to many more ... continue reading


FEDS VS. THE STATE: Who will win in Alabama standoff? Watch

Image of Some civil rights marchers have rejected any comparison between the quest to redefine marriage as a genderless union and the quest by black Americans to obtain their full civil rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Homosexual equivalency advocates liken Alabama's defiance of federal authorities on same sex marriage to a similar stance during the civil rights movement of the 1960's. The Alabama Supreme Court has made itself an outlier in the judicial march legalizing ... continue reading


Remembering Father Alfred Kunz: A Murder Unsolved Watch

Image of I try not to think of how his life ended any more. Rather, I try to remember how he lived. That is because, as a Catholic, I realize how short our lives are. We all will come to an end...sooner or later. What really matters is what we do, in keeping with God's plan, while we are here on this planet. Father Alfred Kunz knew that. He knew why he was here on earth and he made an eternal difference.

By Matt C. Abbott

In the early morning of March 4, 1998, Father Alfred Kunz, a priest and canon lawyer of the Diocese of Madison, Wis., was found brutally murdered in his parish school, St. Michael's, in Dane, Wis. His throat had been slashed. To date-17 years later-the murder ... continue reading


Saved by a sea lion! Suicide leaper from San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge loves to counsel others Watch

Image of Kevin Hines later spoke to a man who had been on the bridge that day. The man informed him that the underwater creature was not a shark - but a sea lion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thirty-three-year-old Kevin Hines was at one time a suicidal teenager who battled mental illness. It first dawned on him that his life served some sort of purpose when in one of his several suicide attempts, he threw himself off the Golden Gate Bridge in San ... continue reading


PM Netanyahu's Clarion Call Watch

Image of Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015, President Obama, his staff, and many Democrats in Congress boycotted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu speech.

By Adele M. Gill

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015, as President Obama, his staff, and many Democrats in Congress boycotted his speech, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu sounded a trumpet, a clarion call, for World peace. The message he delivered was cogent and clear: Peace and unity for all ... continue reading


Standing ground: Alabama Supreme Court halts same sex marriages Watch

Image of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has issued opinions saying the probate judges didn't have to heed the federal court rulings to marry gay couples, appeared to be absent from the decision. His name was neither in the concur or dissent portion of the order.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The State of Alabama remains adamantly opposed to same sex marriages. The Supreme Court of Alabama has since ordered all the state's probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The decision is just the latest in a growing legal battle ... continue reading


WHY has heroin overdose deaths in the U.S. quadrupled over the past 15 years? Watch

Image of Heroin overdose death most rapidly in the Midwest, the report said. No explanation was given from the report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Once considered the lowest a person could fall, heroin deaths and addiction have quadrupled over the past 15 years. Death rates from heroin overdoses have nearly quadrupled since 2000 to reach 2.7 per 100,000 people in 2013. The National Center for Health ... continue reading


Has Obama destroyed 60 years of friendship? U.S.-Israeli relations frayed after dismissive comments from President Obama Watch

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before a joint session of Congress on March 3.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In his dramatic, and controversial, speech before the U.S. Congress, Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the proposed agreement between the U.S. and Iran was "a bad deal" which would not hinder Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


What is she hiding? Hillary Clinton refused to use government email address while Secretary of State Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton did not use an official government email address while she was Secretary of State, potentially violating a law regarding open and free access to official documents.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Potential 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton may have shot herself in the foot; it has been revealed that as Secretary of State, Clinton used a personal email address for official government business, which may be a crime. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Is your teenager in danger? 1 in 5 teen girls experience dating abuse in the U.S. Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems like teenagers nowadays have forgotten what "respect your partner" means. Oftentimes, teenage couples leave one battered and the other selfish. Some even find fulfillment in impeding the rights of other people, and American teenagers have fallen into the hands ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-18
3 Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21
16 He called down famine on the land, he took away ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
33 'Listen to another parable. There was a man, a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 6th, 2015 Image

St. Colette
March 6: Colette was the daughter of a carpenter named DeBoilet at Corby ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter