Save our Parks!
Across the United States, millions of people grow up seeing pictures of California's stunning redwoods, mountains, deserts and beautiful beaches – many of which have been protected as part of the state’s renowned system of parks. These wonderful and diverse parks provide a wealth of natural benefits and also support California’s important travel and tourism industry including hotels, locally-owned bed and breakfast establishments, restaurants, retail shops, tour operations and many more local businesses that provide much needed jobs in communities across the state.
Yet on July 1st, dozens of California’s 279 state parks may be closed due to budget cuts enacted by the Governor and Legislature. This budget crisis did not develop overnight. Thirty years of financial neglect have left the state’s parks system with a $1.2 billion backlog in deferred maintenance. Now, with less than a month before parks are shuttered, we need both immediate and long-term solutions.
The real question is not whether we can afford to maintain our state parks, but whether we can afford to allow a failure of political will and imagination to destroy one of our state's most irreplaceable assets. The Sierra Club is calling upon the state’s leaders to work together to address this issue in a common sense fashion. Read more about our work in the Sacramento Bee.
And TAKE ACTION: Governor Brown and the Legislature have until this Friday, June 15, to pass a budget that includes funding for the state park system. Tell them to pass the Sustainable Parks Proposal!
-- Michael Brune and Kathyrn Phillips. Photo of Henry Coe State Park, California.