Feb182011

Organizations Call for New Approach to Save the Parks System

Posted by Kassy Perry
California State Parks Foundation, Save the Redwoods League Issue Parks Excellence Report

FEBRUARY 11, 2011 (SACRAMENTO, CA) – With state parks at a budget crossroads once again this year, a report was released today outlining a new approach to maintain, protect and improve their future. Authored by California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) and Save the Redwoods League (League), A Vision for Excellence for California’s State Parks is a call to action to engage a statewide community of park supporters and partners to focus on a set of five core strategies. The report also lays out specific actions that can be taken.

CSPF and the League issued the report as an extension of their collective 130-year history to create, grow, manage and defend California’s state parks. This report was issued as lawmakers consider $22 million in proposed cutes and sweeping system wide closures to California’s state parks.

“We will continue to fight budget reductions for parks,” said CSPF President Elizabeth Goldstein. “The state park system has been more than a century in the making. Today our state parks stand at a crossroads and , a new vision is needed for the next 100 years to ensure the state parks legacy continues strong and vibrant.”

“The Vision for Excellence for California’s State Parks” is the first report from the Park Excellence Project (PEP) and is the first study that reflects the direct voice of Californians and their views on state parks.

The PEP is designed to continue a dialogue about what needs to happen to ensure that Californians’ opinions about the purpose of our state parks, as well as their desires for specific park experiences, programs, services and amenities are heard. This report serves as a roadmap for the future of California’s state parks and calls for public, private, and nonprofit entities to come together in new and different ways to support the system.

“The loss of Proposition 21 points to the need for greater public support of parks,” said League Executive Director Ruskin Harley. “The new cuts and pending closures are just the latest step in a decades-long failure to fund the system and prompted the need for a new vision.”

Report findings were developed after statewide surveys of Californians – both park users and nonusers – and discussions with key park stakeholders. Data collection to draft this report consisted of a statewide online survey fielded for five weeks which yielded more than 6,400 responses, a telephone-based opinion poll of 800 Californians generally representative of the statewide population and conclusions from personal interviews and a stakeholder roundtable forum.

A Vision for Excellence for California’s State Parks is available online at: http://www.calparks.org/programs/park-excellence-report/.

About the California State Parks Foundation

With 120,000 members, the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) is the only state-wide independent nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing, and advocating for California’s magnificent state parks. Since 1969, CSPF has raised more than $173 million to benefit state parks. CSPF is committed to improving the quality of life for all Californians by expanding access to natural beauty, rich culture and history, and recreational and educational opportunities offered by California’s 278 state parks – the largest state park system in the United States.

About the Save the Redwoods League

For more than 90 years, Save the Redwoods League (League) has been dedicated to protecting the ancient redwood forests so all generations can experience the inspiration and majesty of redwoods. In 1850, there were nearly 2 million acres of ancient coast redwood forests in California. Today, less than 5 percent remains and faces threats from unsustainable logging practices, poorly planned development and global climate chance. Since its founding in 1918, the League has protected more than 189,000 acres of land.

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