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Reaction Continues On State Parks Announcement

Sonora, CA — While some reservations exist the unanimous feeling is one of elation over Governor Schwarzenegger’s Friday announcement that all state parks will remain open until at least June 30, 2010.

From Sonora City Administrator Greg Applegate, "State parks are one of the real bright lights for communities, especially rural communities when you have state parks that are located close by because of the visitor population. This is good news on that front because this is certainly a form of economic development activity and allowing folks to come up and experience our parks and at the same time enjoy our wonderful Mother Lode area is certainly a big advantage to us."

From Lisa Mayo of the Calaveras County Visitors Bureau and Film Commission, "That (the Governor’s announcement) was very exciting news and we are absolutely thrilled that Big Trees State Park will remain open. It’s such a key attraction in our area. We just want to share it with everyone."

From Nanci Sikes of the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau, "It’s absolutely awesome news. It’s the best news I’ve had in a week, a month and a year. $162 million is spent here annually by visitors and we estimated our state parks alone generate probably $6 million a year in sales tax. It’s a very wise decision from Sacramento to keep those sales tax dollars because the small amount of money it’s going to take to maintain those parks as opposed to the lost revenues … it just didn’t make any sense."

Written by bill.johnson@mlode.com