Letter Writers Squawk Over Park Closure
Following are some of the Letters to the Editor published by the San Diego Union-Tribune from readers upset over the closing of Palomar State Park.
In response to “Palomar state park closes campgrounds” (Local, Oct. 4): What a shame, and what a sad example of government not being able to provide a simple, low-overhead public good at a reasonable cost. How can it possibly be expensive to maintain a dirt lot? It’s not.
What is even more ludicrous is that campground fees have risen from $12 a few years ago to $35 for a “regular” campsite and to $50 for a “premium” campsite, plus extra fees for additional vehicles and such. This barely qualifies as reasonably affordable for the average family, which the state park system was set up to serve.
Keep in mind that all these campsites are all still the same circles of dirt (amid America’s greatest natural beauty) they were generations ago. Nothing has changed, except somehow, the public and the government can no longer afford them.
Whoever messed this up should be fired. — Evan Patrick, Mission Beach
Shutting down a quarter of state parks is already unacceptable. Now gates are literally shutting on families on the way to weekend plans, without warning. Every kid deserves a place to explore. We should keep all our beautiful parks open for us to enjoy, now and for good. — Stephanie Droste-Packham, Environment California, Sacramento
The park closures are nothing more than a bludgeon to soften the taxpayers for the predictable and hysterical calls for tax hikes to come. With a two-thirds majority in the Senate within reach for Democrats in the next election cycle, tax increases are inevitable. — William Bock, Alpine
Having grown up a Boy Scout, I am saddened by the park closures. It is a reflection upon the fat-cat culture of Sacramento and the lobbying machine to cut off more public outlets for physical improvement and a nature experience while Sacramento politicians continue their high-on-the-hog lifestyle and take away more freedom from the general public. — Edward Mracek, La Jolla
Here in Cuyamaca, Green Valley Falls Campground has closed early. Although November is a soft month for this campground, last year it brought in 420 campers, 76 horse campers and 199 paid day-use visitors between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30.
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park says the campground is closed until July, losing two highly profitable months out of the early summer season. How much money is state parks going to lose? Are other open parks run this way?
This is bad management and a plan to fail. In the Navy, when a ship runs aground, they don’t fire the cook, they fire the captain. — Ernest R. Smith, president, Cuyamaca Equestrian Association