California's budget crisis might force the government to shut down dozens of state parks, thereby cutting off public access to many of the its beaches and recreation areas. (Federally managed parks, such as Yosemite, wouldn't be affected. Get more details on this story by reading this article at the website of The National Trust for Historic Preservation. The LA Times Real Deals Blog has also been covering this here and here.)
The threat to California's parks is reminiscent of the 1995 budget standoff that shut down national parks across the country—but at least then the closures were temporary. A move like the one California is considering could reduce public access to state lands for years.
Taking away access to parks seems like an immoral act, like kicking a puppy, but the fiscal situation for a lot of states, and the nation, for that matter, is pretty dire.
How fundamental is it to have a state park system? Worth raising fees and/or hiking taxes?