70 State Parks that were slated to close on July 1st 2012 have been “rescued” from the budget chopping block. At this point only one park is slated to be closed due to budget shortfalls. The lone park scheduled for closure is Providence Mountains State Recreation Area (http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=615)
“This is great news for the people and this is great news for the parks”, said Dan Jacobson, Legislative Director for Environment California. “Governor Brown, Senate Pro Temp Daryl Steinberg and Speaker John Perez deserve a lot of credit for working so hard to protect our environment.”
State Parks are responsible for 1.4 million acres of land, including 280 miles of coastline and 625 miles along lakes and rivers. Recent studies indicate that parks generate billions of dollars in revenue from tourism which is why local businesses around the parks have taken up the call to action and urged the legislature and the Governor to keep the parks open.
“This was a real win for the state of California,” said Jacobson. “Everyone got together on this issue and made their voice heard. Tens of thousands of Environment California members emailed the Governor, we took out a full page ad in the Capitol Weekly, and generated over 100 businesses to get active on this issue.”
While the Parks may have avoided closure at this time, the struggle for parks continues. Funding problems persist and this issue is sure to rise up again next year unless a sustainable solution is figured out.
“Ultimately we need to protect our parks for the long haul,” said Jacobson. “It just makes no sense to fight every year for the bare minimum. What is needed is a long term funding solution that will protect and restore our parks to their true beauty and grandeur.”
For more information go to www.environmentcalifornia.org