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There Go the Parks

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Here's the list of 220 parks that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing closing as part of budget cuts. At least 2,000 people (rangers, biologists and more) would be laid off, according to the Associated Press. "California spends roughly $400 million a year running 279 state parks and beaches, with roughly a third of the money coming from the state general fund. The rest comes from user fees, which account for slightly more than a quarter of the revenue; bond funds; gasoline taxes; federal money; and other sources." Since many of these parks also have beaches (like Leo Carillo Park in Malibu), but it's not clear what beaches would be closed, according to the San Louis Obispo Tribune. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times is calling this the biggest threat to California's parks in 150 years. More via the paper: "Elizabeth Goldstein, Cal Parks president, called the measures "awful and draconian." She points out that more than 80 million people visited state parks last year and that for every dollar that funds the parks, $2.35 is returned to the state's general fund via economic activities in nearby communities." [PSN/SLOT/LA Times]