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Photo by vrkrebs, Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by vrkrebs, Flickr Creative Commons

As we reported in an e-mail to you last month, Save the Redwoods League is very concerned about proposal to close 70 California State Parks, including 16 redwood parks, by July 1, 2012, because of state budget cuts. We believe that closing parks is a short-sighted response to the current fiscal crisis. Not only do parks provide low-cost recreation for millions of visitors, they also are an important source of revenue for local communities and the state, and they are critical for our health.

With over 72 million visits annually, state parks already bring in more than $4 billion in tourism and tourist-related activity throughout California. In an era when time spent outdoors is a necessity for the health and well-being of every Californian, we need a new vision for our state parks-a vision for the next 100 years and beyond. The moment has never been more important.

We are working in the field and at the state capital to understand the changing situation and to ensure that parks remain protected and accessible. Our guide is our recently completed report, A Vision for Excellence for California’s State Parks. This report, produced with the California State Parks Foundation, calls for public, private and nonprofit entities to cooperate in new ways to support the system.

The report makes it clear that while restoring the latest budget cut and keeping the parks open is a start, we also need to deal with the fundamental issue of chronic underfunding and the long-term deterioration of the park system. That’s why the League is looking beyond the current crisis at the long-term future of the redwood parks and how we can best ensure they are protected and made available to the public this century.

We expect our long-term strategy to be considered by our Board of Directors in December 2012.

Meanwhile, we encourage you to continue to visit and enjoy the redwood parks this summer and to talk to your friends, families and neighbors about the importance of public parks to society.

Thank you for your support. We will keep you informed.

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What Would Make California State Parks Excellent?

If you didn’t participate in last year’s survey about California state parks, share your vision of an excellent California state parks system today. As you may know, results from last year’s survey are summarized in a new report by Save the Redwoods League and California State Parks Foundation, A Vision for Excellence for California’s State Parks, which calls for a new approach to maintain, protect and improve state parks. Against the backdrop of lawmakers’ consideration of $22 million in proposed cuts and sweeping systemwide closures to California’s state parks, the report is especially timely. Learn more about the report.


Service Decreased at 8 State Redwood Parks

Service reductions at eight California state redwood parks are in effect because of the state’s budget crisis, but service at dozens of other redwood parks remains unchanged. Service is subject to change; check each park’s webpage for details. Many of the most popular and iconic redwood parks remain open, from Jedediah Smith in the north, to Julia Pfeiffer Burns in the south and Calaveras in the Sierra Nevada. At the League, we are determining how we can best be part of a solution. See service reduction details, and learn how you can help.