[Nfbc-info] Public Announcement from DRA Regarding California State Park Closures

Alicia Reyes areyes at dralegal.org
Tue Jul 26 23:39:12 UTC 2011

Public Announcement from Disability Rights Advocates regarding
California State Park Closures

On May 13, 2011, California State Parks announced a plan to close up to
70 of its 278 parks due to budget cuts.  According to the California
State Park announcement, "the closures are necessary to achieve an $11
million reduction in the next fiscal year 2011/12, that amount
increasing to $22 million in the following fiscal year 2012/13."  The
announcement can be found here:  http://www.parks.ca.gov
<http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=26685> .

Three primary goals offered for developing the closure methodology
include protecting "the most significant natural and cultural
resources," maintaining "public access and revenue generation to the
greatest extent possible," and protecting "closed parks so that they
remain attractive and usable for potential partners." 

The closure plan is subject to change.  In addition, the State Parks has
emphasized to Disability Rights Advocates ("DRA") that it is committed
to minimizing impacts to accessible park features to the extent
possible.  In some cases, the current closure plan may entail suspending
park services at selected parks while keeping these parks open to public
access - i.e., the public will be allowed on the park grounds, but there
will be no services provided.  These service closures will mean that
(e.g.) bathrooms are locked, park patrol will cease, water will be shut
off, etc.  


These service closures will likely impact the usability of the
accessibility features in the affected parks.  DRA is working with the
Accessibility Section of the California State Parks to ensure that
information is made readily available to the public concerning such
impacts.  The website for the California State Parks currently has a
separate page for each park unit discussing accessibility features
available in the unit.  DRA has requested that these accessibility pages
for the parks that will be subjected to service closures be updated to
list the specific impact of the service closures on accessibility
features.  The State Park system is considering this request.  In
addition, DRA has requested that the accessibility pages for the
affected park units provide a contact number to the California State
Park's Disability Access Section, including email, phone number (a
direct line to the section) and mailing address, to field questions from
members of the community. 


For further information, please contact: Larry Paradis at
lparadis at dralegal.org


Alicia Reyes
Communications and Outreach Coordinator  
Disability Rights Advocates 
2001 Center St., Fourth Floor 
Berkeley, CA 94704-1204
510-665-8644 ext. 136 
510-665-8716 (tty) 
510-665-8511 (fax) 
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