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Discussion: Park closings in New York

in: Orienteering; General

Feb 20, 2010 5:36 AM # 
58 millions people visited NYS parks in 2009. 29 million Dollars are supposed to be saved by the park budget cuts.

How do they intend to close down parks, besides closing down the facilities?


Presse release NYS

Runner ticketed
Feb 20, 2010 8:55 AM # 
Some day we will have to sign a waiver to go into the outdoors...
Feb 20, 2010 8:58 AM # 
piutepro>>This is off-topic, but I sent you an email about maps for the CSU training camp a week and a half ago (and also probably some spam a couple of days ago...). Did you ever get the first email?
Feb 20, 2010 9:34 AM # 
BG: Yes, I got several spam messages from your account. Will answer you about the maps. If there is a park left to run in...
Feb 20, 2010 9:46 AM # 
Oh we have to deal with the rangers in the Bay Area regularly. Tapio got his $113 ticket for being in the park at a certain time a few years ago, maybe 10 years, this is not a new M.O. You kinda have to know where you can go without fear of the authorities. It's peculiar that we are precluded from officially using some of the parks for the reason that the ranger cannot guarantee safety because there are illegal operations underway in the park; apparently it's OK to allow drug cultivation to go on and at the same time to shake people down for running in the park.

P.S. The growers are usually friendly if you approach them in the right way.
Feb 21, 2010 12:03 PM # 
What's the "right way" Vladimir...with a $100 bill in one hand while doing an impersonation of Cheech Marin?

Scott Herhold, writing today in the San Jose Mercury, published a reasonable response to all this talk of "park closures" and the runner's arrest in piutepro's link above, which concludes with:

...So maybe we ought to stop this talk about closure. Put out a sign saying "restricted use" [and tell] people a nanny won't arrive to help them. Close the bathrooms. And above all, let the joggers [and orienteers] run free.
Feb 21, 2010 1:56 PM # 
Nah, just park where nobody else would park, or else take transit. This way they'll never figure you out. After all if you're taking transit, the thought is you're probably indigent, so there's no point for them going for your $100.
Feb 21, 2010 6:39 PM # 
Disclosure: I have done my part of sneaking into 'closed' parks. It is easy to do with some creative parking or going there on the bike. (Disclaimer: Don't do try this at home and don't let your kids do it.)

The problem is, do we get permits to use a closed park? To be honest, I don't believe that park rangers are the ones who would help us to find a lost or injured runner in the woods. At least the rangers in our area cruise in cruisers and are not very outdoor capable (that is a nice way to put it).
So all we need is a parking lot and the permit.

I do assume there will be some public outcry. Parks are important to so many people. Plus, closing parks might cost more money than keeping them open. The infrastructure will fall apart and then needs to be repaired in future. What about a forest fire going off and nobody realizes it in time?
Feb 22, 2010 3:01 AM # 
If you're in the New York Capital Region (or even if you're not), there are Parks and Trails Advocacy days on 3/3 and 3/10. They will assign you to a group and you'll spend the day meeting with legislators and telling them how important parks are to you.
Feb 22, 2010 6:24 AM # 
Check also the web site of the NYNJ trail conference.
Feb 22, 2010 2:52 PM # 
hmm, isnt is possible to run from these guys? i mean thats not nice but before i pay 100 dollars or more i would simply "vanish" in the trails...
Feb 22, 2010 3:29 PM # 
As an individual training, one could run away, but the closings are a big concern as far as holding orienteering meets -- several of these parks in New York are mapped.
Feb 22, 2010 3:39 PM # 
Apart from John Boyd Thacher, which parks are mapped? (The Harriman closing is, I think, probably just the parking lot at Anthony Wayne, which will bother adventure racers but not orienteers.)

That said, closing Thacher is by itself a big loss to EMPO. And with NYS' fiscal problems, I'm sure this won't be the last set of cuts to parks.
Feb 22, 2010 4:16 PM # 
Still trying to deal with the fact that "closing" a park means you can't go in it? Disneyland - sure. Wilderness? Only when fires are ripping through our province around here.
Feb 22, 2010 5:11 PM # 
Maybe the way to have continued access to land is to show park officials that there is value in having orienteering continue in closed parks. That value could be free park inspections for parks that would otherwise go unmonitored. Just collect things noticed by mappers, course setters, and competitors that might be of interest to park officials and then provide that information to park officals after each meet.
Feb 22, 2010 5:24 PM # 
Fahnestock Park was supposed to be closed, has been restored for now. Same with Sebago Beach, which is an access point to several maps (Sebago Lake, Spook Swamp, Polebrook).

Anthony Wayne is closed, was used by many Genesis AR events and some rogaines. Thacher is right now the hardest hit concerning areas used for orienteering.

I suggest Niagara Falls State Park should be closed. So much water is wasted each day, dropping down for no reason. As an alternative, if Governor Paterson would expand his working hours this would help the state, too. E.g. he bungled an application for a 700 million federal education aid.
Feb 22, 2010 6:46 PM # 
JJ wrote:
"...the closings are a big concern as far as holding orienteering meets..."

Well why not give the cash-strapped park system a chance to make some money on the "closed" park? As Scott Herhold points out in the above-linked article:

...In fact, the park isn't really closed at all. If you have enough money, it's quite open. The city says it's taking reservations for weddings and special events...

Which of our orienteering couples would be willing to run with a wedding veil, corsage and tee-shirt tux?
Feb 22, 2010 6:49 PM # 
Letchworth State Park (ROC) has been the site of a few US Champs. According to the local paper, it was supposedly on the closure list, but emerged unscathed.

Allegany State Park(BFLO/ROC) has been the site of three rogaines (one US and one NA champs). It was not closed, but suffered significant cuts that would have a real impact on the ability to hold future rogaines there. [And whether or not they could be held would depend upon the administrators - who are also supposedly being cut.]
Feb 23, 2010 1:14 AM # 
Point au Roche is a ski-O area.

This discussion thread is closed.