For budgetary reasons, 70 of California's 279 state parks were set to close to the public on July 1st. But thanks to partnerships with private businesses and advocacy groups, 68 of those parks remain open for the time being. Even with this money and the recently discovered surplus in the Parks Department, Californians need to decide if funding our state park system is in our best interest, especially in an economically challenging climate. We talk about California’s State Park system, its history, its value, and what closing a state park might look like.
I’m standing on a beach smack dab in the middle of California. The breeze coming off the jetty is getting violent, and it’s really cold. Through the fog, I can only see a couple hundred feet of gray ocean. This is where I meet Mike French.
He’s standing on a windy bluff away from the water – reading the low waves and the bored surfers for signs of a good set. He’s a local.
French comes to the beach to read the waves several times throughout the week. “And it’s only good enough to go in once or twice a week, particularly at this time of year,” says French.