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Save State Parks - Shut Down the MLPA Initiative

Our beautiful State Parks, enjoyed by millions of people every year, are in their greatest crisis in California history.

On May 13, the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) released a list of 70 state parks that will be permanently closed to the public as a direct result of the $22 million budget cut enacted by Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature earlier this year.

"Although closure lists have been released in the past in response to previous budget cut proposals, this is the first time in the 100-year history of California’s state park system that state park closures will be implemented," according to Elizabeth Goldstein, President of the California State Parks Foundation.

Goldstein said permanent park closures will begin this September. Among the many state parks that will be off-limits to the public with will be Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Henry W. Coe State Park, Pio Pico State Historic Park, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Benicia State Park, Colusa State Park and many more. The full list is devastatingly long and includes 40% of all state historic parks in CA.

"This unprecedented plan will close the doors to 25% of California’s state park system and will impact all regions of our state. As you know, park closures will have very real impacts on the people of California, the resources our parks protect and our economy," said Goldstein.

I urge you to send a letter, as I just did, to your legislators and Governor Jerry Brown opposing these closures and showing your continued support for California’s state parks. Your action is urgently needed, as policymakers will be making additional decisions in the next weeks about the state park budget that may have further impacts to our state parks. Go to:

At the same time, I have a solution to help keep our State Parks open: halt the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initative immediately.

This corrupt initiative, begun by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004, wastes up to $40 million of the state's money every year, funds that could be spent on maintaining and patrolling State Parks. The Marine Life Protection Act Initiative creates fake “marine protected areas” that fail to protect the ocean waters from water pollution, military testing, oil spills and drilling, wave energy projects, habitat destruction and all other human impacts on the ocean other than fishing and gathering.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the president of the Western States Petroleum Association who has called repeatedly for new oil drilling off the California coast, chaired the South Coast MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force and served on the North Central Coast and North Coast Task Forces. This fact in and of itself demonstrates that the MLPA Initiative has nothing to do with real marine protection.

In addition, a marina developer, real estate executive and other officials with numerous conflicts of interest presided over the MLPA process. It’s time for Governor Jerry Brown and Natural Resources Secretary John Laird to halt the MLPA Initiative and to transfer the money, used to create fake marine reserves that an overworked DFG warden staff can’t enforce, to keeping our parks open!

For more information on the widely-contested MLPA Initiative, check out David Gurney's great blog:

Below is the list of State Parks targeted for closure by the Brown administration:

Planned 2011 State Park Closures
Anderson Marsh State Historic Park
Annadel State Park
Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park
Austin Creek State Recreation Area
Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park
Benbow Lake State Recreation Area
Benicia Capitol State Historic Park
Benicia State Recreation Area
Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
Brannan Island State Recreation Area
California State Mining and Mineral Museum Park Property
Candlestick Point State Recreation Area
Castle Crags State Park
Castle Rock State Park
China Camp State Park
Colusa-Sacramento River State Recreation Area
Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park
Fort Humboldt State Historic Park
Fort Tejon State Historic Park
Garrapata State Park
George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area
Governors Mansion State Historic Park
Gray Whale Cove State Beach
Greenwood State Beach
Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park
Hendy Woods State Park
Henry W. Coe State Park
Jack London State Historic Park
Jug Handle State Reserve
Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park
Limekiln State Park
Los Encinos State Historic Park
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
Manchester State Park
McConnell State Recreation Area
McGrath State Beach
Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve
Morro Strand State Beach
Moss Landing State Beach
Olompali State Historic Park
Palomar Mountain State Park
Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park
Picacho State Recreation Area
Pio Pico State Historic Park
Plumas-Eureka State Park
Point Cabrillo Light Station Park Property
Portola Redwoods State Park
Providence Mountains State Recreation Area
Railtown 1897 State Historic Park
Russian Gulch State Park
Saddleback Butte State Park
Salton Sea State Recreation Area
Samuel P. Taylor State Park
San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park
Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park
Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park
Shasta State Historic Park
South Yuba River State Park
Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Tomales Bay State Park
Tule Elk State Reserve
Turlock Lake State Recreation Area
Twin Lakes State Beach
Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park
Westport-Union Landing State Beach
William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park
Woodson Bridge State Recreation Area
Zmudowski State Beach