"Feds Could Seize Calif. Parks If Closed by Budget"

"SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California officials said Wednesday they are trying to avert the federal government's threat to seize six parks that could be closed to help reduce the state's ballooning budget deficit.

National Park Service Regional Director Jonathan Jarvis warned in a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that all six occupy former federal land that could revert to the U.S. government if the state fails to keep the parks open.

The sites are Angel Island, a former federal military and immigration facility in San Francisco Bay; the top of Mount Diablo east of San Francisco, where the Navy once operated a microwave relay station; Point Sur State Historic Park in coastal Big Sur; and three beaches — Fort Ord Dunes near Monterey, Point Mugu State Park near Malibu, and Border Fields along the Mexican border.

The properties are among the 220 state parks Schwarzenegger has proposed closing to save $143 million. Legislators are considering the move as part of efforts to close a $26 billion budget deficit."

Don Thompson reports for the Associated Press July 1, 2009.

Thursday, July 2, 2009