Nine NJ state parks may close this summer (not April fools)


New Member
Saw this posted in the NJ forum on MTBR, it appears legit as the original story is from here:

Nine state parks may close under budget ax


Nine state parks may close under budget ax
by The Associated Press
Tuesday April 01, 2008, 10:55 AM

One in five New Jersey state parks would be forced to close at the height of the summer season and 80 parks workers would be laid off as part of cost-cutting measures forced by Gov. Jon S. Corzine's austere budget.

The Department of Environmental Protection is proposing to close nine state parks entirely, slash services at three more, and reduce offseason hours at all 42 sites.

"These cuts are very significant," said DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson, who delivered the bad news Tuesday morning to park supervisors and union officials who represent the workers.

"I wouldn't want to minimize the impact on families who have used the parks, sometimes for a generation, and workers who care about the parks," she said. "These are painful decisions."

The list of parks slated for closure includes five in the Skylands region and two each in the Shore and Delaware River regions. Hours and services at three others would be drastically reduced. Parks targeted to close include High Point State Park and Round Valley Recreation Area in the north, Monmouth Battlefield State Park at the shore and Parvin State Park in the south.

The proposed closures would save about $4.5 million in salaries and maintenance, a small portion of the governor's proposed $33 billion budget. However, the DEP could not reach Corzine's mandate of slashing $8.8 million from the $34 million Parks Management General Fund without resorting to closing parks, Jackson said.

Legislators must agree to Corzine's budget plan; the state constitution requires a budget be adopted by July 1.

She said the DEP looked at attendance, revenue, nearby similar services and whether a park could be effectively closed before making the list.

Some 17 million visitors use New Jersey parks and forests each year for camping, swimming, hiking, boating, picnicking and more. The parks slated for closure had 2 million visitors last year, according to the DEP.

Environmentalists say the modest fiscal savings are not worth the quality-of-life trade off.

"We have too many people in government who don't understand how important parks are for the people of New Jersey," said Jeff Tittel, executive director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "Not everybody can have a house on Long Beach Island or the Hamptons. This is where people go on their vacations."

Tittel called the park closings "shortsighted," saying that outdoor recreation generates $3.9 billion yearly for the state's economy.

Carla Katz, president of Communications Workers of America Local 1034, which represents some park workers, called the cuts "wrongheaded" and "draconian."

"Closing treasured state parks and cutting the jobs of the hardworking state workers who staff them is a grave injustice and remarkably shortsighted," Katz said.

The layoffs would affect full-time park rangers and supervisors, historic and natural preservation specialists, and clerical and maintenance staff. Seasonal workers would not be hired for the affected areas, but no park police or fire rangers would lose their jobs, Katz said.

Jackson said only Island Beach State Park operates at a surplus. However, she said the DEP was reluctant to raise fees for parking and camping because the parks are typically used by people of modest means.

The list of nine state parks that would close:

-- Monmouth Battlefield State Park, 2,928 acres, Monmouth County. Visitor center, restrooms, closed.

-- Stephens State Park, 805 acres, Warren County. Camping area closed.

-- High Point State Park, 15,827 acres, Sussex County. Swimming, camping, interpretive center, office, closed. Trail access limited.

-- Brendan T. Byrne State Forest (formerly Lebanon State Forest), 36,647 acres, Burlington County. Camping, group picnic area, Indian King Tavern, office, closed. Trail access limited.

-- Round Valley Recreation Area, 3,684 acres, Hunterdon County. Swimming, camping, Wallace House, office, closed.

-- Parvin State Park, 1,952 acres, Salem County. Swimming, camping, interpretive center, office, closed.

-- Jenny Jump State Forest, 4,288 acres, Warren County. Camping and office, closed. Trail access limited.

-- Worthington State Forest, 6,584 acres, Warren County. Camping and office, closed. Trail access limited.

-- Fort Mott State Park, 104 acres, Salem County. Hancock House, historic sites, office, closed. Access to ferry service, open.

The list of three New Jersey state parks that would partially close under the proposed budget:

-- Ringwood State Park, 4,044 acres, Bergen and Passaic counties. Shepherd Lake swimming area closed; Ringwood Manor, reduced hours. State Botanical Gardens and Skylands Manor, open.

-- D&R Canal State Park, 5,379 acres, central New Jersey. Bulls Island Recreation Area closed to campers. Rockingham Historic Site and towpath, open.

-- Washington Crossing State Park, 3,126 acres, Mercer and Hunterdon counties. Significantly reduced hours at Clark House, Johnson Ferry House and the museum.

Winter hours at all remaining parks would be reduced. All but Liberty and Island Beach state parks would be closed Mondays and Tuesdays from Nov. 1 through March 31.


Strong like bull, smart like tractor
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Looks bad.

Maybe this will finally make the ALL trail users in the state realize that w/o a common voice we're all going to be impacted.


Come on now, $4.5 mil is a drop in the freakin' bucket. And how's that for the State's morale; closing off the highest point in Jersey?

monkey boy

Self-Imposed Exile
I am a bit skeptical on this.
The AT runs through High Point and Worthington. The ATC would shit kittens if the access was cut off to these areas.
Ringwood? come on, where would the city of Patterson come up to piss in a lake?
I will believe it if it ever happens.


The AT runs through High Point and Worthington. The ATC would shit kittens if the access was cut off to these areas.

Poop kittens!!! This I have GOT to see :rofl:

On a more serious note, the first line reads.... MAY CLOSE, I try not to believe everything I read, this would be a very bad thing.

Christina ... :(


Well-Known Member
i beleive they would scratch the hell out of your colon.

corzine's going off the deep end. but what does he care about parks, he can't see them from his penthouse in hoboken.


JORBA: Ringwood
I don't believe they are talking about closing trail access, more likely the employee manned stuff, like lifeguards, historians etc. But this will all trickle down to the already understaffed park employees in place today.

Just for the record, Ringwood did not open Shepherd Lake a few years back because lack of lifeguards.

All in all, it still is not good, for those of us who love the parks, enjoy it's recreational opportunities, natural wonders, and great history.


A strong 7
We were recently talking about all of these cuts in service and how the increased financial burden on companies and municipalities as a result of changes to COAH, Highlands, storm water rules, T&E, etc. regulations are driving businesses and people out of NJ. One of my partners suggested that we should put up a sign on Rte 80 near the Water Gap saying "Governor Corzine Welcomes You to Pennsylvania."


entirely thrilled
that new crap about him taxing out of state business is just about the dumbest thought to pass through a politicians head in the last 10 years.


JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
ok,so the toll hike did not get passed yet so this is his payback for that.
i would make book that he tacks another few bucks on smokes and then booze...
then road tax on the gas that is already at 3$ a gallon and it can go on and on.....


Well-Known Member
biknben said:
I don't want to start a political debate but I'm confident that this will not happen. I see the Sierra Club has already gotten involved. I want to see a quote from Mergs :cool:

Corzine plan to gain support...
Corzine: You don't like me becuase NJ is too expensive. I propose a ludicrous change to policy that will effect your livelyhood.
Public: You can't do that! You should direct your attention elsewhere.
Corzine: After listening to the public, I have decided the proposed cut is not required.
Public: Corzine saved my job! He is a great man!

One month later...
Public: Wait...Nothing has changed. :hmmm:

:hmmm: Did I say this already??? :hmmm:


New Member

One of the reasons I picked NJ was because of the cool stuff in the state and close by, as well as having the shore and NYC...

Now I'm gonna have to try to PCS to Colorado... I'm not taking this Corzine ish any longer...
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