As reported in an earlier post the California State Park system, like the rest of California, is in a budget crisis. On November 3, Save the Redwoods League and partners filed language to put a measure on the 2010 ballot that would ensure stable funding and protect wildlife in the chronically underfunded California state parks.
As part of state-wide budget cuts, nearly 60 state parks will be shut down part-time or will have reduced hours of operation. It is expected that more budget cuts (thus reducing operations even more) will occur next year. It is extremely unfortunate that at a time when usage of state parks has increased, funding has decreased. Due to personal budget constraints people are staying closer to home for vacations, thus using the natural resources available to them at home...such as the California State Parks. It is extremely important, not only for California residents, but for future tourism in the state, that the parks are kept open and available for use by the public.
In response to this major issue, Save the Redwoods League, California State Parks Foundation and The Nature Conservancy prepared the statewide ballot measure called "California State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010." If the measure is passed by voters it will provide funding for the state park system and wildlife conservation through an annual State Park Access Pass which will cost only $18.
So, if you are a California resident, get involved and help save your state parks. You can visit the websites of the various organizations supporting the ballot measure to find out how you can help. If you don't live in California, but respect the natural resource that is the California State Parks, then donate to one of the organizations supporting the ballot measure. These organizations work to preserve our natural resources and conserve wildlife. As a traveler to California, I appreciate the natural beauty of the California landscape and look forward to having the opportunity to enjoy these resources. If funding is not reinstated to the California State Parks, then the opportunity for anyone to enjoy these natural resources will be severely limited, if not eliminated.