Budget cuts hit state's parks

archive_import /

By GENEVIEVE

BOOKWALTER

In his continuing effort to balance the state's $34 billion deficit, Gov. Gray Davis has proposed cutting $35 million from operating expenses for California State Parks.

That has some at the Calaveras District which includes Columbia State Historic Park, Calaveras Big Trees State Park and Indian Grinding Rock State Park eight miles east of Jackson worried.

The governor offset about $20 million of the money he has proposed cutting by raising park-entrance fees earlier this year. But park officials still must find ways to trim $15 million from next year's budget.

Park officials have received orders not to take anything away from visitors' experiences meaning almost all field workers will stay put.

However, office jobs will undergo a dramatic makeover.

"The only thing I dread is trying to figure out where I will be when it's all said and done," said Craig Mattson, chief ranger for the Calaveras District in Columbia.

"I'm in middle management, and right now I'm on the chopping block for the state."

The proposed supervisory shuffle would drop the number of park districts from 23 to 18, and would hook the Calaveras District up with San Joaquin and Four Rivers districts to create one large Valley District.

That region would cover parks stretching from Fort Tejon State Park off Highway 5, 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles, to Indian Grinding Rock State Park in Amador County.

Mattson said park staff members would have big commutes if the district grows that large.

New district headquarters could land in Columbia, but they also might end up at San Luis Reservoir near Los Banos, Mattson said.

The consolidations could eliminate 90 positions statewide. Those jobs would range from office staff to chief rangers, park and district superintendents, Mattson said.

11500901
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Sunday May 29, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Sheriff’s deputies respond to alarm at Sonora KFC

05/26/2016

Tuolumne County sheriff’s deputies responded with guns drawn to a holdup alarm ... more

Avalon Care Center fined for patient death

05/24/2016

Avalon Care Center in Sonora has been fined $80,000 by the California ... more

UPDATE: Probe begins in Don Pedro fire

05/25/2016

Investigators began sifting through the rubble of the Don Pedro Recreation Agency ... more

Homelessness, high school and the Butte Fire

05/20/2016

Cole Baisch arrived at Calaveras High School around lunchtime as the sky ... more

Deputies visit schools, build community ties

05/24/2016

You would think Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputy Nate Yorston was Santa Claus ... more