California’s state parks director has abruptly announced his retirement, just 19 months after he took control of a department that had been rocked by years of fiscal mismanagement.
The state attorney general’s office says officials at the highest level of the California Department of Parks and Recreation helped keep millions of dollars secret for more than a decade.
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed several bills to keep California’s state parks open and ensure greater spending oversight in the wake of a scandal in which parks officials hid $54 million.
In a move that may promote enthusiasm for exploring the outdoors, Google’s Street View function will now include virtual tours of five of California’s state parks.
Even with fundraising efforts saving dozens of state parks, several are still slated for closure come July 1.
State Senators Joe Simitian and Noreen Evans unveiled a budget plan Tuesday to prevent 70 state parks from closing in July.
Thanks to efforts by a local non-profit group, the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park will remain open for the next three years.
A state parks official said only a fraction of the 70 California parks originally slated to close this summer because of budget cuts will actually be shut down.
State Senator Noreen Evans has introduced legislation that would create a plan to develop long-term funding for all state parks.
Several dozen state parks are scheduled for closure throughout the state in 2012. But a state assemblyman from San Rafael has introduced a bill to stop that from happening.