California: Floundering State Park System Needs Long-Term Funding Solutions

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Target: California Governor Jerry Brown

Goal: Stop closure of California state parks by implementing long-term funding plans

California’s Governor Jerry Brown recently approved new funds for the state park system which would have faced widespread closures. However, the California Department of Parks and Recreation has since voiced the alarming truth that these funds will only last for a few years, at which point state parks will again be subject to closure. California must take a more long-term approach to protecting the future of its world-renowned state parks.

Governor Brown allowed for only $10 million of $41 million (approved by the CA legislature) to go toward funding state parks. Without funding not only would the millions of dollars in revenue generated by state parks be lost, but the necessary services such as cleanup and maintenance would also be halted. State park facilities, which promote awareness and facilitate protection, would have little recourse to prevent erosion, habitat destruction and wildlife loss.

Park advocates point to the use of private operators for funding as only a “stop gap measure”, one that does not yield long-term fiscal stability. Instead, increased efforts to garner public funding could result in a state park system with a steady inflow of funding. While this is easier said than done, California’s legislature, along with Governor Jerry Brown, must take initiative to address more long-term solutions to the chronic fiscal circumstance of its state park system.

California’s 279 state parks have had to endure a barrage of budget cuts and legislative defunding efforts over the years. In a state with much maligned monetary issues (California faces a deficit of more than $15 billion), it is a testament to the importance of these natural wonders, and to the many people who care about them, that the parks have survived these efforts. However, the swiftly moving tide of a failing state economy may render such triumphs void if urgent and steadfast action is not taken. Sign this petition to support the appropriation of long-term funding for California’s state parks.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Governor Jerry Brown,

Recently, you approved the allocation of $10 million to fund California’s state park system. While I commend you for addressing the dire fiscal situation these parks are faced with, I was dismayed that the full $41 million approved by California’s legislature was not appropriated. An alarming amount of state parks will be forced to close in a few short years if improved funding measures are not implemented.

Pursuing private funding of state parks is an unreliable, short-term solution to the state park funding crisis. It is time to address this situation with long-term goals and solutions. Research into public funding opportunities must be made so that California’s beautiful natural heritage does become the victim of economic mismanagement and short-sighted environmental problem solving.

I urge you to initiate the process immediately and work with non-profits, local governments, and environmental leaders to find sustainable public funding solutions for California’s state park system.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

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166 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
  • Valerie Leonard
  • Mal Gaff
  • Hermann Kastner
  • sheila childs
  • joan walker
  • jeff hopkins
  • Holly Hall
  • Rebecca Williams
  • Terrie Phenicie
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