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Mary Island State Park in the Thousand Islands is on the closure list.
Mary Island State Park in the Thousand Islands is on the closure list.

Governor's option to open parks comes with strings attached

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Some lawmakers are reacting angrily to Governor Paterson's bill to restore funding for New York's parks because it's embedded in a broader measure to reduce dedicated environmental spending.

The administration announced earlier this year it wants to close 41 parks and 14 historic sites - including many in the North Country. Eight have found at least partial private funding, but with Memorial Day weekend approaching there is still uncertainty about the rest.

The governor has offered an option to open all the parks by the weekend, but it would pay for the parks - and lots of other things - by raiding the Environmental Protection Fund.

An annoyed Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver yesterday called the governor's proposal ``inappropriate.'' He said lawmakers could wind up passing a mandate to open all parks. Paterson could veto that as he seeks to cut spending in a fiscal crisis. Martha Foley has more.

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Martha Foley
News and Public Affairs Director

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