It’s kinda too bad, but I’m not all that surprised: California is threatening to close the majority of its parks (via the always-excellent Jim Goldstein – full list of parks here). I was going to be one of those visiting tourists this year. So I’ll miss out on (maybe) an experience or two. On a larger scale, I think that this news will hurt tourism on the margin – if I didn’t have family there, then this news alone would make me cancel any travel plans.
But as I’ve already stated, I’m not too surprised. That’s mostly because I see parks, campgrounds, etc. as a luxury, and California obviously has pretty big problems right now. I figure they’ll recover about the time we’re tanking up here, but that’s a different story.
Now, I’m not a California resident, so I’m obviously a bit out of touch with the happenings there, but it strikes me by reading the comments both on Mr. Goldstein’s posting and a cross-linked posting on Ivan Makarov’s site that the responses aren’t too… well, constructive.
I dunno, maybe I’m just rambling here again, but I see folks with a bias essentially repeating the mistake that the Californian legislature has been making for years: yes, cut costs and services – but not the ones I care about, dammit!
This won’t fix the core problem: California has no money. So yes, parks will get closed – and I kinda think that they should. So should many other things, as some folks have pointed out. I guess the economics major in me sees it as a luxury that can’t be afforded right now.
But if they get closed, they still need to be protected. I can tell you first hand what happens to a campground that gets shut down – there’s one about 10 minutes from my house, by bike. Let’s just say it’s a scary thing. Don’t let your kids wander there alone.