SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nevada County's beloved South Yuba River State Park is now officially off the list of California state parks slated for closure.
State Parks Executive Director Ruth Coleman confirmed the park will remain open, after Nevada County leaders and residents rallied in opposition to the park's closure.
More than 10,000 signatures were submitted at the state Capitol by a large contingent of county residents, including representatives from the South Yuba River Citizens League and Grass Valley Charter School.
Last week, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a letter to State Parks officials supporting the department's plan to start charging for parking at Bridgeport — a highlight of the South Yuba River — to generate revenue for the popular park.
“I believe this makes the running of the park more sustainable,” California State Parks District Superintendent Matt Green said of the plan. “We needed to find some way to extend our fee base to pay for the high cost of staffing.”
In announcing the decision to remove South Yuba River State Park from the list, Coleman credited Nevada County's supervisors, state parks officials, SYRCL and Grass Valley Charter School students for focusing their passion for the parks into a constructive plan to keep them open.
Green indicated that there is still a considerable funding gap with Malakoff Diggins State Park and it currently remains on the closure list.
Malakoff and South Yuba state parks were on the closure list when the California Department of Parks announced it would close 70 parks throughout the state in May of 2011.
Since then, the parks department has pulled nine parks off the list, said Roy Stearns, deputy director of communications for the parks department.
SYRCL helped generated much of the support for the county's state parks, originally assigning a goal of 5,000 signatures during a Dec. 12 town hall event attended by more than 400 community members.