Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Park Protection Efforts Move Forward.
Last winter we wrote about the poor state of our state park system. The Surfrider Foundation has an affinity for parks--not only because our Save Trestles campaign stopped a toll road from running through San Onofre State Park (and potentially ruining the surrounding watershed); but we also appreciate the state park system because 7 of the top 10 most popular parks in California are located along our precious coastline!
California's state parks are falling apart because of decades of underfunding. State budget cuts are causing parks to 'fall behind in the system' and there is currently more than $1 billion 'backlog' of maintenance. Our state parks are struggling financially and need permanent funding to ensure they are maintained (i.e. hiking trials, campsites, bathrooms, visitor centers, kiosks, etc), AND that enough staff and personal are hired to ensure our parks are safe (i.e. lifeguards, rangers, facility managers, etc). Last November, the Surfrider Foundation supported the California State Park and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010 as a way to maintain healthy parks.
This summer, the California State Park and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act officially qualified for the November ballot; now called Proposition 21. Prop 21, slated for the Nov 2 election, will create stable and adequate funding for parks. The funding would come from an annual "State Park Access Pass" surcharge of $18 per California vehicle. The surcharge will apply to California vehicles and in exchange, they would receive free day-use admission to Parks throughout the year.
The folks running the ballot initiative are looking for supporters and volunteers, please visit their website.
Please review a recent blog post about why Surfrider is supporting park protection efforts.