Paterson proposes using EPF money for state parks

Gov. David Paterson (D-N.Y.) has proposed keeping some Long Island state parks slated for closure open this season by using money from the Environmental Protection Fund.

Critics say the governor's plan would set a bad precedent since EPF money has never been used for operational costs. The EPF funds dozens of programs, from acquiring open space to recycling.

Opponents to Paterson's proposal, such as Richard Amper of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, say using the money set aside for the environment could eliminate open space and clean water on the Island.

But many residents say keeping the parks open is their first priority, no matter how it's done.

The State Legislature has yet to vote on the proposal.

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