Statement about Proposal to Close CA State Parks
The announcement that Gov. Brown proposes to close 70 state parks is sad for California. Our state has created the best system of state parks in the nation – an amazing variety of places that showcase our natural beauty and history for tens of millions of residents and visitors each year.
Now almost one-quarter of those parks will close because our legislature has been unable to agree on a budget that provides the resources our parks need.
As a land conservation organization that has been conserving California’s most special places for nearly 40 years, The Trust for Public Land helped to create many of these state parks. These are the places where many Californians first slept in a tent, built a sand castle, sat by a campfire, walked in the redwoods. To close the parks is to deny our own children that connection to the California landscape and history that we enjoyed.
Since 1864 our state parks have reflected the beauty, diversity, and inspiration of this remarkable state. Not once in the years since have we failed to keep them open for residents and visitors to enjoy. Even in the depths of the Great Depression, the parks stayed open, their promise kept.
Certainly, the state needs to make difficult choices in this financial environment. All of us are tightening our belts. But it is difficult to believe that the solution to California’s financial challenges will be found in dismantling a system of parks that draws visitors from around the world and provides thousands of jobs in communities throughout California.