SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Big Basin Redwoods State Park has been closed for the past two years. But that is about to change. But on Thursday state officials announced a new vision for the park.
After lightning hit the park and burned through the Redwoods in 2020, there was damage done. Park rangers say the forest is resilient and regrowing.
After KRON4 took a media tour of the forest, there are signs of growth every where you look, but changes are coming.
California Park Ranger District Superintendent Chris Spohrer showed us where an old visitor building used to sit — only a staircase remains after the fire.
“We’ve had the opportunity to rethink the facilities in the old growth, and one of the focuses here is to move those facilities to Saddle Mountain,” Spohrer said.
They’ll also be relocating some camping sites, and they’ll establishing a shuttle from the visitors building to the park.
“In the future it will be a more immersive and natural feeling experience, people will have less congested and chance to really appreciate the grandeur of the forest,” Spohrer said.
After two years of being closed, they will reopen the park to limited access this summer.
Sara Barth is with Sempervirens Fund, a non-profit that financially helps the park, says the $187 million given to park by the legislature is not enough.
“We think it’s going to cost at least 250 million dollars in additional funding to put into place the infrastructure that state parks is talking about,” Barth said. “If we want to see this park reopened fully, that’s what it is going to take as in public funding.”