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Sonoma County Board of Supervisors OK deal to run Annadel State Park

A one-year agreement with the state allowing Sonoma County to take over operations of Annadel State Park, the popular 5,000-acre reserve in east Santa Rosa, was authorized Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.

The deal would keep Annadel open past a July 1 deadline when dozens of parks statewide are scheduled to close for budget reasons.

Board Chairwoman Shirlee Zane criticized that state move as "penny-wise and pound-foolish," citing the potential loss of tourism dollars tied to park visitation and the risk of vandalism and other types of misuse that could result from park closures.

Annadel State Park At 40

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Five state parks in Sonoma County were on the closure list. Agreements are in place to keep three of the parks open -- Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Jack London State Historic Park and Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park.

Efforts are also under way to keep open Austin Creek State Recreation Area in Guerneville.

The county deal to operate Annadel requires approval from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, a go-ahead that county officials said they expect in the next two weeks.

The annual county cost to operate Annadel is projected at $277,737. That amount will be covered largely by donations, including $100,000 from financier and philanthropist Henry Trione and other contributions from park supporters. State parks is to make a one-time payment of $50,000 and also has committed to retaining a supervising park ranger at Annadel, an in-kind value of $100,000.

The county's regional parks agency will manage Annadel as part of its adjacent Spring Lake Park operation.

While backing the deal, which would expire next June, county supervisors voiced concerns that the state would seek to unload Annadel on the county on a permanent basis.

"It's concerning that year after year we're going to have to be relying on the community to step up," Supervisor David Rabbitt said.


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