As wrangling over Paterson’s budget continues, it’s looking increasingly likely that the great collective scream of bloody murder from the voters of New York has produced results: all of the threatened state parks and historic sites may stay open this year. With the closings already opposed by the state Senate, the Assembly wants to retain (borrow?) $11.5 million to keep them operating. Meanwhile, the DEC has announced its own round of campground closures, a much smaller list which probably won’t face the same level of outcry – some of these, like Bear Spring Mountain in the Catskills, had been closed last season.
But in truth, the future of our state parks is still murky. $11.5 million will keep them running this year, but what about next year? Are the parks still going to be underfunded and understaffed? Is the park creation process ever going to get a careful look? What about the budgetary and personnel strains affecting our “other” parks service, the DEC? (Once again, some important posts by Norbrook for those who aren’t breathing a sigh of relief just yet.)