The State of California plans to permanently close the gates at Castle Crags State Park July 1 if no one comes forward with an operating proposal.

“The county is definitely not interested,” Heidi Horvitz said in her Shasta office Tuesday of last week, a few miles west of Redding.

The Cascade Sector Superintendent for California State Parks, Horvitz said that an applicant would have to show the ability to finance three years of operations before the state would consider a proposal.

“It would have to be lucrative,” she said, leafing through pages of notes. Her numbers described a need for $180,000 per year, minus revenues that Castle Crags generates reliably each season. “For the 2009-10 year, it was $136,000,” she noted. “Last year we had $141,000 in revenues.”

That means that any interested party would have to be able to guarantee about $40,000 per year for the three-year period.

Horvitz said any agreement considered would have to state that any revenues raised would go back into operating the park, “So it wouldn't go into the black hole of some general fund.”

She cited March as the deadline for submitting a proposal.

Interested parties, including Shasta College, College of the Siskiyous, and the Mount Shasta Trail Association, met to discuss options for saving the park Thursday at the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center.