Samuel P. Taylor, Tomales Bay State Parks to Stay Open with Help from Feds

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State and federal authorities announced today that two popular Marin County state parks will remain open with the help of the National Park Service.

Samuel P. Taylor State Park, a campground nestled among redwoods in West Marin, and Tomales Bay State Park, which lies on the shore of its eponymous bay, were slated for closure because of state budget cuts. In May, state parks officials announced that close to 70 of the state's 278 parks would be shut down because of inadequate money for staff and maintenance.

However, today a deal was announced that will keep Sam Taylor and Tomales Bay open. Since both lie within the boundaries of the federally administered Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the NPS has agreed to pitch in staff to help keep the parks open.

"Closure of any state park within National Park Service' boundaries would likely have negative impacts on national park resources and visitor experiences, as well as negative impacts on the local economies," according to a joint press release from state and federal parks officials.

"The NPS will support normal day-to-day operations needed to keep the parks open. However, no additional federal funding will be available and no major or long-term infrastructure repairs will be accomplished."

The staffing arrangement will take place over the next year on a "trial basis." During that time, it appears that the parks will remain open to visitors.

It remains to be seen whether the state's budget crisis will be sorted out before the gates start falling off the hinges and the trails are overgrown -- requiring those "long-term infrastructure repairs" the feds can't fund.

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