Eleven state parks in the North Bay that were threatened with closure have managed to dodge the budge axe, but only temporarily. What will happen beyond the 2012-13 fiscal year remains an open question.
Not all of the short-term operating agreements have been negotiated with non-profits; in three cases—at Brannan Island, Woodson Bridge and Turlock Lake—deals were struck with a private business to keep those facilities open. But Jerry Emory, Communications Director for the California State Parks Foundation says that should not be confused with "privatizing" those parks.
Keeping the parks open, for the summer and the rest of the fiscal year, was the immediate goal of the Parks Alliance for Sonoma County, and the reason that organization was created, says Lauren Dixon, Deputy Director. But now they are looking farther into the future, even if they don't yet have a plan of action to pursue.
Proposition 21, the 2010 ballot measure that would have generated funds to support California's parks through an $18 per year increase in vehicle registration fees, enjoyed strong support in the North Bay, but fell short of passage statewide. At this point, neither Emory nor Dixon foresee another attempt for that approach.
The California State Parks Foundation has developed this interative map thgat shows the current status of all 70 of the the state parks that were on the closure list.