Celeste Fremon: Arnold Steps in to Save State Parks-But Maybe Not for the Reason He Says

Posted: September 30th, 2009

This past Friday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger jumped into the budgetary breach with a plan to miraculously rescue 100 state parks from closing . . . .

The story is that the governor brought out his budget crunchers and told them to go forth and find enough savings elsewhere to be able to keep the parks open with minor cutbacks and partial closures to a few parks. Not a perfect solution but much better than shuttering 100 of California’s precious public wildland spaces. That, Arnold! Such a problem solver!

But what, one wonders caused this sudden change of heart?

Could it maybe have been the looming threat of nasty lawsuits and the possible loss of millions of dollars in federal grants?

Yep. Looks like it. In another one of his excellent essays on state and national parks, civil rights lawyer and City Project head, Robert Garcia, pointed out rather presciently, just before Arnold had his come-to-Jesus cost cutting session, that it had been recently been brought to Schwarzenegger’s attention that closing the parks would cost a hell of a lot more—in legal bills and funding losses—than keeping them open.

Read the rest of this article on by Celeste Fremon on WitnessLA . . .