Friday, April 24, 2009
Contact Your Senator to Protect State Parks
Right now there are two critical bills going before the State Senate and we need you to contact your Senator and tell them to support SB 372 and SB 679. These bills have been introduced to establish much-needed processes and policies that protect our parks--so that ill conceived proposals (like toll roads through parks) will be impossible in the future. See below for a sample letter you can use when contacting your Senator.
Contact Your Senator:
Enter your address and zip code to find your Senator. Then simply go to their website and click on the form that says "contact me" to send the email. You are welcome to use the sample email below.
Subject: Please support SB 372 and SB 679.
I am writing to urge your support for Senate Bill (SB) 372 (Kehoe) and SB 679 (Wolk). State parks were created to offer Californians recreational opportunities, protect natural resources, and showcase some of the most unique cultural and historic features of the Golden State. Voters repeatedly support improvements and additions to the state park system through approval of bonds and, in some cases, through gifts of land donations.
Unfortunately, however, state parks are increasingly looked at as the path of least resistance for placing infrastructure and other development projects. These proposals have significant impacts to sensitive natural, cultural and historic resources in the state park system. Instituting clear statutory protection to safeguard state parks is consistent with upholding the will of the California public and ensuring these resources remain part of the public trust.
SB 372 establishes an appropriate process for protecting state parks. It requires that alterations or modifications that are inconsistent with state parks be enacted only upon an act of the Legislature, preceded by a recommendation from the state Park and Recreation Commission. SB 679 will further protect California's state park system. The bill requires that lands specifically acquired for the purpose of a state park cannot be used for non-park purposes unless the Legislature takes an affirmative action to allow that non-park use and replacement lands of equivalent value are provided.
Together, these two bills create a thorough, transparent process where state-level decision makers have the final say in deciding whether to impact a state resource. As a strong supporter of our state parks and California's environment, I urge you to value the investments in our state park system and cast an AYE vote for SB 372 and SB 679.