Can California's state parks be saved?

Can California's state parks be saved?
Palomar Mountain State Park, California (photo courtesy Flickr user soupstance, Creative Commons).

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawmakers have passed a bill making it easier for the 70 California state parks threatened with closure next year to work with nonprofit organizations and remain open.

Amendments made to AB42 by Democratic Assemblyman Jared Huffman of San Rafael unanimously passed the Assembly Tuesday. The bill now heads to the governor.

Huffman says the measure is not intended to be a "silver bullet" to save the parks but will simplify the process of creating an operating agreement between parks and nonprofits.

Opponents say it takes valuable resources out of the state's hands while failing to protect state jobs.

Supporters say the bill can help minimize the number of parks that will have to close after the Legislature cut $33 million to the parks budget in March.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.