NEW PROPOSITION BOLSTERS LEAGUE PARKS AND CLIMATE CHANGE WORK
California voters made history last summer by approving a funding measure to enable improvement of parks and provide more access to them, protect our water, fight climate change, and address the threat of severe wildfires. With the passage of Proposition 68, the Clean Water and Safe Parks Act of 2018, Save the Redwoods League will advance many of our Centennial projects. These projects are part of our Centennial Vision to accelerate our protection and restoration of redwood forests and connect people to these magical places. Our bond-supported work includes improvements in trails, interpretive resources, and other amenities at redwood state parks; Redwoods Rising, the pioneering, large-scale forest restoration project; and the purchase of property and conservation easements to protect old-growth forests. We also will be able to protect redwood forests from the threats of severe wildfire, as well as development and conversion to other non-forest uses. Save the Redwoods League is grateful to California voters for passing Proposition 68 so that our state’s beautiful coast redwood and giant sequoia forests can be protected and enjoyed for generations to come.
MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION TO BENEFIT FOREST RESTORATION
Save the Redwoods League is working to ensure that funding from California’s marijuana markets is directed to support redwood forest restoration activities, and eventually redwood park stewardship.
The funding stems from the California Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or Proposition 64, which voters passed in 2016. The measure legalized recreational marijuana in the state and thus created the world’s largest legal pot economy. The law includes funding for the restoration of forested watersheds and eventual stewardship of public lands most adversely impacted by illegal marijuana cultivation.
Studies conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have revealed that the conversion of forests to unregulated cannabis grow sites has severely damaged water quality and supplies, special status species, and other natural resources. In addition to providing a regulatory framework for recreational marijuana cultivation and sales, such as establishing excise and sales taxes, as well as licenses for growing, distributing, and selling marijuana, Prop 64 also prioritizes the protection and restoration of redwood forests. The measure accomplishes this by helping to enforce existing laws to protect water resources and wildlife, by dedicating 20 percent of all cannabis sales and excise tax revenue to an Environmental Protection and Restoration Account in the state budget. The law also dedicates funding to stewardship and operations of impacted State Parks and natural areas to prevent damage from cannabis cultivation.
FUNDING MEASURE FOR OAKLAND’S REDWOOD PARKS ON NOVEMBER BALLOT
A measure supporting fire safety and popular redwood parks of the San Francisco Bay Area will be on the November ballot. Originally passed in 2004, Measure CC is set to expire, and voters in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Alameda, San Pablo, El Cerrito, Albany, Emeryville, and Piedmont will vote on its extension. The measure provides local funding for park infrastructure, maintenance, safety, and services.
Each year, the East Bay Regional Park District spends more than $1.6 million on fire hazard reduction, much of it thanks to Measure CC. The Park District’s redwood parks, mere minutes from the Bay Area’s most densely populated cities, include Redwood Regional Park, Roberts Regional Recreation Area and Anthony Chabot Regional Park. The Measure CC renewal includes significant funding for potential joint projects with Save the Redwoods League, including forest restoration, trail and park access enhancement, and interpretation projects in the Park District’s redwood parks. We urge voters to support this important measure that would expand the League’s partnership with the primary urban redwood park agency in California.