California State Parks have been underfunded for years, resulting in reduced operations, threatened closures, and lack of adequate maintenance. State Parks are important state assets, providing protection for our natural resources, healthy recreation opportunities for our citizens, and economic contributions to the local economy from visitor spending.
The Governor’s 2015-16 budget proposes to provide a very modest one-time increase of $16 million to the Department of Parks and Recreation to maintain current service levels at California’s State Parks. This funding stability is essential to allowing park leaders to focus on the needed internal operations improvements recommended in the Parks Forward Commission report, the goal of which is to ensure the system’s long-term viability. The Sierra Club encourages the appropriation of additional funds that would allow the parks system to increase hours at some parks and restore some services at others.
The Governor’s proposed budget also includes $20 million to address the deferred maintenance backlog in State Parks. We support an even larger allotment for deferred maintenance, which will help protect these precious state assets from further damage. Last year’s deferred maintenance budget allotment was never enacted.
Please contact your local Senator and Assemblyperson to urge support for the State Parks Budget appropriations and increases therein. You can find out who your representatives are online at http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov. State Parks in the Bay Chapter include Mt. Diablo State Park, Angel Island State Park, China Camp State Park, Mt. Tamalpais State Park, McLaughlin Eastshore State Park, and Candlestick Point State Park. They are the gems of the Bay Area, and are all heavily used by Bay Area residents and visitors from all over the world. They must be kept open, accessible to all, and adequately maintained.
— Alan Carlton