State continues push for Sonoma, Mendocino beach parking fees

.Other than the gas they used to get there, Murray and Janice Bruce didn't have to spend a dime Friday morning to enjoy a spectacular view of Goat Rock near Jenner.

They said it should stay that way.

"Keep it free," said Murray Bruce, who lives in Berkeley with his wife. "The more people that come to the coast, the more they will appreciate it and want to protect it."

California State Parks, however, is still seeking the authority to expand the number of beaches along the Sonoma and Mendocino County coasts, including at Goat Rock, where visitors must pay for parking.

State officials say the new day-use fees, which would amount to $8 a vehicle, are necessary to keep the beaches open and to reopen others as the park system grapples with budget cuts and a deferred maintenance backlog of more than $1 billion.

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