Thursday, March 29, 2012
California Parks Update
With Summer bearing down on us (yeesh is it almost April already?) I thought I would check in and see what the situation is with the 70 California state parks slated for closure by June.
Thanks in part to efforts by individuals and non-profits alike, it looks like most of the parks will be open this Summer. According to the AP, it looks like about 50 parks will be saved by the budget deadline. Of course, that means 20 will not but when you are talking about shutting down 7% of the state parks instead of 25% of the state parks, that qualifies as a win.
How have these parks been rescued so far? Well it seems that the Federal Gubment is taking over a few of the parks that adjoin Federal lands which makes sense. There are plenty of county and state parks that are part of the larger Angeles or other national forests for no reason other than an imaginary line on a Google map. A few cities are doing the same.
There seems to be a few private/anonymous donors and larger foundations that have saved individual parks for a year or longer . Additionally CSPF is making headway, pushing through legislation allowing for such partnerships to take place and also leading the private/public bridging that seems to be going on.
What DOES seem to be a long term solution is groups of citizens are rising up and pooling their money to help keep the Parks open. Palomar has been saved that way. I also just have been turned on to the Olmstead Park Fund which has saved 1 park so far and is aiming to help save 5 more. While I really wish the governments would stop allocating funds towards wars and more towards parks (over simplistic I know), if we are going the private action way, I wholly applaud diffuse funding of the parks.
So it seems that most of the parks are on their way to salvation but what happens 2 years from now, and what about the parks that aren't saved yet? I definitely think we should keep up the efforts and try to contribute to crowd-sourced funds like Olmstead and CSPF, Cali parks will thank you!
Posted by Peter Flanigan at 8:30 AM