California

Sky-high rents price National Park Service out of San Francisco — and California

Even the federal government can’t afford to stay in San Francisco.

The National Park Service plans to move its west regional office, which oversees 60 national parks throughout the western United States, out of San Francisco, according to KQED. The move’s expected to save $4 million in rent and higher salaries.

"We have struggled with recruitment in San Francisco for years due to the high cost of living," said Stan Austin, the region's director, in a memo obtained by the station.

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About 150 people work in the 333 Bush St. office, which costs $2 million a year in rent, in San Francisco’s high-rise Financial District, reported The San Francisco Chronicle. The office moved to that location in 2011 and has a lease running through 2021.

Andrew Munoz, a park service spokesman, told the publication that the agency has filed a request with Congress to relocate the office to a former military base in Vancouver, Washington.

The proposal already has been approved by the Department of the Interior, Munoz told KQED.

The agency owns a vacant building at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, reported The Hill, and expects to save $1.8 million in employee salaries as a result of lower living expenses in Washington. Any move would not take place until the current lease expires in 2021, according to the publication.

The office oversees 13 million acres of national parks in eight states, including Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument and Yosemite National Park in California, as well as the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona and Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, reported KQED.

A recent poll found that 46 percent of Bay Area residents surveyed said they want to move out of the area within the next few years, up from 34 percent in 2016.

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