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Audit: State Parks “had no way of knowing how much the state would have saved by closing 70 parks last year”

The City Project and diverse allies have long fought to keep California state parks for all. We stand ready to work with General Anthony Jackson, the new Director of California Department of Parks and Recreation, to restore public trust in the Department.

According to the Associated Press:

The Department of Parks and Recreation does not know how much it costs to operate each of California’s 270 state parks, beaches and recreational areas and had no way of knowing how much the state would have saved by closing 70 parks last year, according to an audit released Thursday.

The audit said department administrators estimated the operating costs for individual parks based on geographic regions using 10-year-old figures.

“Without updated and complete estimates of the costs to operate each park, it is difficult to accurately estimate the amount the department would save by closing a given park, and to measure the impact of partnership agreements that provide funding to help pay parks’ operating costs and offset the effects of budget reductions,” the audit said.

The State Auditor’s findings were part of an investigation that revealed the department had a hidden surplus of $54 million at a time when the administration was threatening to close dozens of facilities. Since the hidden surplus was found, the governor has appointed the new director.

The City Project met with General Jackson in January 2013 to discuss green access, health and equal justice. Click here to read about the meeting and our recommendations for green justice.

Click here to read the article on the state audit.