Paul Rogers of the Mercury News documents the decay of the California state parks system, and just how bad it’s gotten. From part one in this morning’s paper:
This Memorial Day weekend, campsites are booked from Mount Shasta to San Diego. But California’s state park system – once considered the best in the nation – is falling apart.
Its 278 parks include priceless locales that define the state’s history and natural splendor: Sutter’s Mill, Lake Tahoe, towering redwoods and “Baywatch” beaches.
Yet throughout the system, sewage pipes are crumbling. Roofs leak and thousands of scenic acres are padlocked for lack of rangers.
If you believe we need state parks, and that we need them not to be tattered embarrassments that horrify the tourists, pick up a copy of today’s paper and read this report — the graphics illustrate the forces that got us into this mess, and the photography shows in stark detail how bad things have gotten.
Part 2 on Monday deals with what can be done about it.