California Park Advocacy Day, sponsored by the California State Parks Foundation, is coming soon.
Just got this press release from the California State Parks Foundation. They do great work to help protect our state parks, including protecting access to hiking trails. If you live in the Sacramento area, try to make this.
California State Parks Foundation Holds Ninth Annual Park Advocacy Day
Sacramento, Calif. MARCH 21, 2011 — The California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) will bestow its State Park Champion Grassroots Awards to two leaders for exemplary work in protecting and advocating for California’s state parks Tuesday as the culmination of its Ninth Annual Park Advocacy Day. This year’s recipients are the California Travel Industry Association (CalTIA), and longtime CSPF member and park advocate John Mott.
“The California State Parks Foundation is pleased to recognize CalTIA and John Mott as true park champions,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of California State Parks Foundation. “Their dedication to state parks has been outstanding.”
As the unified voice of California’s travel, tourism and hospitality industry, CalTIA, led by President and CEO John Severini, has been a true state park champion. In the wake of repeated proposals to close state parks, CalTIA led the business community to keep state parks open, well maintained and protected. They also supported Proposition 21, acknowledging that countless businesses and communities rely on state parks for economic livelihood.
John Mott, recently retired from the Department of Parks and Recreation after over 30 years of service, has been championing California’s state parks for decades as a professional and a dedicated volunteer. John has spent his professional and personal life continuing the legacy of his father, CSPF Founder William Penn Mott Jr.
Award winners will be recognized during the Park Advocacy Day reception Tuesday evening.
As part of Park Advocacy Day, more than 150 park advocates will gather at the Capitol on Tuesday to show their support for state parks in the face of unprecedented budget cuts that threaten California’s state parks system. CSPF will host advocates from around the state as they lobby for legislation advancing park protection, authority for nonprofit organizations to help operate state parks, and increased volunteerism in state parks.
“Between 2009 and 2010, 150 state parks suffered from either partial closures or severe service reductions,” said Goldstein. “We are going to Sacramento to lobby for protections for our state parks, especially in the face of an impending $22 million cut to the state parks budget and the prospect of full closures for some parks.”
Two bills sponsored by CSPF are scheduled for committee hearings on Tuesday, Senate Bill 580 (Wolk and Kehoe) and Assembly Bill 42 (Huffman). SB 580 establishes strong protections for state parks and advances a principle of “no net loss” of state park lands. AB 42 provides authority for the state to enter into operating agreements with nonprofit organizations to operate state park units. Park advocates will attend the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee (SB 580) and Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee (AB 42) hearings on Tuesday morning to testify in support of the bills.
“Park Advocacy Day is a chance for hundreds of park supporters to meet with policymakers and voice strong support for a state park system that belongs to each of us,” said Goldstein. “Today our state parks stand at a crossroads, and our legislators must know that we cannot abandon a 100-year commitment to an asset that has clear economic, environmental, historical, cultural and recreational value for California. As we stand at this crossroads, park advocates will also be clear that a new vision is needed for the next 100 years to ensure the state parks legacy continues strong and vibrant.”
CSPF has been holding Park Advocacy Days for the last nine years, reflecting its ongoing commitment to engaging Californians in the active protection and advocacy of their state parks. This year, that public engagement has taken on a new level of importance as CSPF, in partnership with the Save the Redwoods League, launched a new report, A Vision for Excellence for California’s State Parks. The report lays out five vision elements for achieving excellence in California’s state parks, and includes recommendations for specific actions. Two of the strategic actions are at the core of bills and issues being lobbied on Park Advocacy Day: Defend Park Lands and Resources (SB 580) and Broaden Leadership for Parks (AB 42).
About Park Advocacy Day
On Tuesday, March 22, the California State Parks Foundation will sponsor the Ninth Annual Park Advocacy Day in Sacramento on behalf of state parks. More than 150 participants from across the state will converge at the Capitol to lobby policymakers on critical issues facing the state park system, including park protection, funding and closures. The State Park Champion Grassroots Awards will be presented to advocates during a reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at The Elks Tower Ballroom. For more information about Park Advocacy Day, contact Linsey Fredenburg-Humes at 916-442-2119.
About California State Parks Foundation
With its 120,000 members, the California State Parks Foundation is the only independent nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and advocating for California’s magnificent state parks. For more information about California’s state parks, visit calparks.org.