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State Abandoning 3 Los Angeles County Parks on July 1

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KQED, a public broadcasting service from Northern California, is providing comprehensive coverage of a distressing date with destiny: July 1, 2012, when the state of California will abandon support for 70 state parks. Three of those parks are located in Los Angeles County: Saddleback Butte Park in Lake Los Angeles, Los Encinos State Park in Encino, and the Pio Pico State Park in Pico Rivera. Just over the county line, Santa Susana State Park in Simi Valley is also set for closure. The parks will still be open to the public, but all support will be gone--"So if you want to pee at a closed state park, you will have to pee in the woods. The trails won’t be maintained, so you’ll have to climb over fallen trees and maybe plan a little bit and bring a compass so you don’t get lost," according to the Grist.

Here are just a few of the sad details of the impending closures:

-- 43 of the state's 51 historical preserves will no longer be supported
-- Six counties will lose all of their parks
-- One-fifth of state trails will no longer be supported

There is reason for hope at some of the parks: nonprofits and volunteers have managed to get control of some of the spaces, including Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Park in Lake Los Angeles, but as the Grist laments, a huge chuck of California's open space is about to bring back the Wild West in a very literal way. KQED's special coverage of the closures includes a lot of great articles about specific parks and the type of geo-tagged Google Maps that we would love under less depressing circumstances.
· California’s State Parks on the Rocks [KQED]
· California's closed state parks to be overrun by pot growers, people willing to pee in the woods [Grist]