California is planning to close more than a quarter of its 278 state parks and slash services at the rest as part of sweeping budget cuts. Southern California's beaches will stay open but redwood forests, coastal woodlands, and many of the state's historic sites will be shut down in September, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. "Closing state parks is not a task that gives anyone joy, but we are experiencing turbulent times that necessitate deep—almost unthinkable—cuts to public services," said Gov. Jerry Brown, who agreed to the closures as part of a $22 million cut in the state parks budget.
Parks were chosen for the chop based on attendance, how much revenue they generated, and how easy it would be to close them. Officials admit that even with roadblocks and signs up, people are likely to continue using the closed parks. Some parks may be reopened for special events if sponsors can be found. "I don't want to give the impression that we're just mothballing them and putting them away," California Parks Director Ruth Coleman says.