December 28, 2011
Efforts to Save CA State Parks Continue
There is no immediate news on the efforts to link nonprofit groups with CA state parks to keep the parks open, but I wanted to share a blog that is posting reports on the efforts for anyone who wants to keep up on the latest news for the CA parks. On October 4, 2010, the CA legislature enacted AB 42, a bill that adds §5080.42 to the California Public Resources Code. The new provision modifies the statute that gives control of the state park system to the Department of Parks and Recreation. The new section gives the department the authority to enter into "an operating agreement for the "development, improvement, restoration, care, maintenance, administration, or operation" of a state park with a "qualified nonprofit organization." The goal is to keep parks open, using nonprofits to help find resources to manage and maintain the parks.
Christine Sculati's Blog has posted a number of stories about the efforts of nonprofit organizations to work with particular parks in California. Her most recent post on the subject describes efforts of the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation to save Castle Rock and Portola Redwoods State Parks. She notes that 70 state parks have been identified for closure, with 18 of those in the Bay Area. The parks located near populous areas may have a better chance of generating the kind of fundraising that will be needed to keep them open. Her posts provide excellent descriptions of the problems and the efforts to save the parks, and are worth a read if you're interested in this topic.
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Thank you very much for linking to my blog. I would be intrigued to learn how the nonprofit law community views this issue, so please contact me if you have time to share your thoughts.
My latest post is: "Time is running out for endangered California parks. Are state park closures legally defensible?" Link: http://wp.me/p4OLF-1IH
With a new state budget on the table for 2012-13 and park closures less than six months away, I wrote a comprehensive update.
This post describes a recent commitment by a state senator to introduce legislation to halt the closures. Without documentation on the costs to close parks or any kind of resource analysis, the senator believes the process to develop the cost reduction plan has no basis and is not legally defensible. One park, China Camp in Marin County, which contains prehistoric and historic sites as well as a highly sensitive marsh and wetlands area with endangered species, could later prove to put the state at greater financial risk.
Posted by: Christine Sculati | Jan 10, 2012 8:56:51 AM