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North Bay Lawmaker Works To Keep State Parks Open

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Burney Falls

Burney Falls is a waterfall on Burney Creek in McArthur-Burney Falls State Park. (James Irwin/CBS)

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SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – Dozens of state parks across California are scheduled to close this summer as a result of budget cuts.

But several state lawmakers are fighting the move, including North Bay state Senator Noreen Evans, who said lawmakers have to do better by state parks.

“We’ve been falling down on taking care of our state parks. We’re closing 70 of them this year,” said Evans. “In fact, a lot more of the state parks have been closed on a partial basis for the last year or two.”

KCBS’ Melissa Culross Reports:

So Evans has introduced a bill, SB 1078, which would create a plan to develop long-term funding for all California state parks.

“It would require the State Lands Commission to reassess its existing leases, bring them up to market rates and start collecting rent that is due under the existing leases,” said Evans.

The bill also calls for a $1 million loan from the general fund to implement a collection plan, which would be paid back with the first $1 million collected.

It would also require additional revenues collected by the State Lands Commission to be deposited into a new Delinquent Rent Collection Account in the general fund. From that account, the second million dollars would be allocated to the Department of Parks and Recreation to study ways to increase park revenues.

The state parks could begin closing as early as July.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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