Annadel park on state's closure list

  • Hikers from left, Patricia Sowby, of Valley Springs, Judy Banks, of Valley Springs and Christine Gilchrist of Ojai, hike near Londons' Cottage at Jack London State Park, May 13, 2011. "This is California history so it is really important for everybody. It represents a history of our state and our nation. I see this park as showing this huge historic change that we are undergoing now. This should be preserved," Sowby said. "This is a story of our people, this place."

Sonoma County's most popular state parks could be closed to the public unless local governments or other groups offer creative ways to staff the parks at no expense to the state.

California State Parks officials announced the closures Friday as part of an effort to slash $22 million from the budget by closing 70 of the 278 parks in the system, including Annadel State Park in Santa Rosa, Sugarloaf Ridge just outside the city, Jack London in Glen Ellen and 20 other North Coast parks.

State officials have previously threatened to close parks but later backed down after slashing the budget through service reductions, such as closing campgrounds and bathrooms.

Annadel State Park At 40


The release Friday of a list of closures comes only days before Gov. Jerry Brown releases his revised budget expected to call for tax extensions, and under threat of more cuts from Republican lawmakers.

Is the list political theater or is it real?

Park officials on Friday said the parks would close unless outside groups raised the funds to keep them open. "This is a permanent cut and we don't expect there to be any backing off," State Parks Director Ruth Coleman said. "The cut is real."

Closures are expected to start after Labor Day but could come as late as next summer. All 70 parks on the list are expected to be closed by July 1, 2012.

In Sonoma County, the closure list also included Austin Creek State Recreation Area near Guerneville and Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park.

Five Mendocino County Parks are on the list as are two in Napa County and one in Lake County.

Perhaps most difficult would be the closure of Annadel, a park of more than 5,000 acres nestled in populous Santa Rosa's eastern neighborhoods, said Sonoma County Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart.

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