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T.C. Visitors Bureau Fears Proposed State Park Closures

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Tourism in the Motherlode is exceeding expectations this year, but the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau fears what will happen if this region’s State Parks are forced to be closed.

Nancy Sikes, The Bureau’s Excecutive Director, was Friday’s KVML "Newsmaker of the Day".

"We’re mystified as to why the Governor and the Legislature might even do this because they are concerened about their general fund revenues, Sikes said. "They need every tax dollar that can possibly be generated."

According to Sikes, only one tenth of one percent of the general fund goes towards operating California’s State Parks and yet the Parks generate billions in revenue to private businesses, resulting in hundreds of millions in state tax revenue.

Additionally , the amount of lost jobs would be yet nother blow to the local and state economy. Sikes said that it’s not just jobs in the Parks but around the Parks as well. Sikes said several businesses in Columbia State Historic Park operate specifically because of the visiting tourists.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors has submitted a letter to Governor Schwarzenegger asking him to reverse course on his proposal to close the 220 designated state parks.

It specifically makes a claim that the benefits of Columbia State Historic Park and Railtown 1897 in Jamestown outweigh the costs of keeping them operational.

The "Newsmaker of the Day" is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.

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