Feds Threaten To Seize State Parks



As state lawmakers failed to reach a budget compromise, the federal government has threatened to seize some state parks, including Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, and possibly sell them off, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The threat by the National Park Service comes in response to a proposal by Governor Schwarzenegger to close most of California's state parks. The National Park Service says such a move would violate two federal funding laws. California has received hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government to support state parks, and it will be forced to return that money if the parks close. The National Park Service also says federal law allows it to seize state parks that were once federal property — such as Angel Island. But the National Park Service likely would not operate them as parks, and instead would offer them as surplus property to other federal agencies or auction them off.

Meanwhile, state Controller John Chiang will begin issuing IOUs today after Democrats and Republicans failed to reach a deal to solve the state's $24.3 billion deficit by last night's deadline. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Democrats had hoped to strike a temporary agreement that would have saved about $5 billion, but the governor said he would veto any half-measures and demanded that the Legislature pass a comprehensive budget package.