If it really does mean shuttering the parks -- well, be prepared for massive encampments of vagrants, use of parks as party sites and dumps, and the ever-present risk of carelessly set (or not-so-carelessly set) fires, warns Emory.
Besides the fact that closing the parks is emotionally akin to raffling off the right to shoot Bambi's mother, the nonprofit holds that the state's plan -- to slash the parks' budget from $143 million to 73 million this year, and then do away with the rest of it for the next fiscal year -- is penny-wise, pound-foolish.
Emory touts a 2002 study by the Department of Parks and Recreation that found that every dollar spent on parks created $2.35 in taxes and revenue that went back to the state's general fund via fees or visitor money spent in local communities. He goes on to note that 80 million people visited state parks last year -- and more and more could be expected to do so as the term "staycation" grows more and more annoyingly ubiquitous out of economic necessity.
The park advocates await the definition of the term "caretaker." It will be interesting to see if the state finds a definition that implies neither care nor the taking of it.