By J. Harry Jones/ U-T San Diego / January 17, 2012
PALOMAR MOUNTAIN — A nonprofit citizen’s group hoping to save Palomar Mountain State Park from permanent closure this summer has mounted a pledge drive with the goal of raising $60,000 annually.
Last month the Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park Committee submitted a proposal to the Department of State Parks offering a straightforward deal: If they’ll keep Palomar open, the committee will cover the deficit between revenue and operating costs from public donations.
The park is one of 70 parks slated for permanent closure this July and already all the campgrounds have been shuttered. Rick Barclay, chairman of the committee, said the park isn’t self-sufficient, meaning revenue doesn’t cover expenses, even after the operating budget’s been slashed to the bone.
Barclay said the committee has yet to hear back from the state whether it will go for the deal.
“Frankly, we’re not asking for donations at this time (though they are always welcome!) since we’re still waiting to hear back from the Department of State Parks to see if we even have a deal. No deal, no park,” Barclay wrote in a letter to supporters.
“Nevertheless, we need to prepare NOW so that, if and when we do hammer out a deal with the Department of State Parks, we can hit the ground running.” Barclay is asking people to let the committee know how much money they would be willing donate this year to keep the park open if an agreement can be reached with the state.
The website to make a pledge is savepalomar.org.
“If you’ve been clamoring for a way to keep Palomar open, you should be clamoring to pledge,” Barclay said. “Time is running short, and this solution is our last remaining hope to SAVE PALOMAR.”