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Most California State Parks Slated To Close Will Remain Open

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A state parks official says only a fraction of the 70 California parks originally slated to close this summer because of budget cuts will actually be shut down.

Michael Harris, the acting chief deputy director for the state parks department, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that agreements already are in place to keep 11 of the parks operating. He says negotiations are under way to protect about 40 others.

He expects California will wind up closing just 15 of its 278 state parks on July 1.

The closures of parks, beaches and historic sites were part of a previous state budget deal and had been expected to save $11 million annually.

Harris says agreements are being struck with concessionaires and nonprofit organizations. He spoke after testifying at a hearing.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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