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State Park Fees To Rise

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The annual fee is going up to use California state parks, even as the nation´s largest park system trims the number of seasonal lifeguards for the third consecutive year. Both developments are driven by the state´s budget problems.

Starting April 15 the passes will be sold for 110 dollars. The price will rise to $115 on May 1; to 120 dollars on June 1; and reach their previously announced limit of $125 on July 1.

Currently, an annual pass is $67 after former Governor Davis ordered fees cut in half four years ago when the state enjoyed a budget surplus.

The department also warned there will be fewer lifeguards at state beaches, lakes and reservoirs this year, though drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in state parks.