State Parks in the News

Proposed legislation calls for more affordable overnight accommodations along the California coast

Going to the beach may become more affordable if state legislators pass an Assembly bill introduced this week to increase inexpensive lodging along the coast. The measure by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-Chula Vista) calls on the California State Coastal Conservancy to create a program that would preserve and add to the number of low-cost hotels, motels and hostels in coastal areas, particularly on parkland.

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Amid deep uncertainty about changes in state revenue and Washington, California Gov. Jerry Brown presented a $177.1 billion state budget Tuesday that assumes the state will have billions of dollars less to spend over the next 18 months compared to what lawmakers projected when they passed the budget last June.

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A SoHum State Park Road Set to Close for Weeks in Summer

After decades of disrepair, California State Parks has pulled together the funding to patch a 5.25-mile section of heavily-touristed pavement in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The bumpy, narrow route, pitted with potholes, has been the bane of locals and big tree... read more

Iconic Pioneer Cabin tunnel tree in Calaveras County is felled by storm

The Pioneer Cabin Tree of Calaveras County, a giant sequoia with a car-sized hole in it, was felled by the weekend storm. “The Pioneer Cabin tree has fallen!” said a post on the Calaveras Big Trees Association Facebook page. “This iconic and still living tree – the tunnel tree – enchanted many visitors. The storm was just too much for it.”

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Over 35,000 People Spent Black Friday Outdoors in California State Parks

On the day after Thanksgiving, November 25, 2016, over 35,000 people ventured into 116 state parks throughout California for Green Friday, an event hosted by Save the Redwoods League, California State Parks, and the California State Parks Foundation. The Green Friday event aimed to raise awareness for the state park system and to promote enjoyment and appreciation of California’s beautiful state parks.

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Angel Island Hospital Gets Makeover, After State Short of Total Disrepair

An aging hospital building on Angel Island, where a million immigrants were detained between 1910 and 1940, is getting a new life, after nearly reaching a state just short of total disrepair.

The hospital is a survivor of the era when the island served as a detention center for immigrants entering the U.S. from some 80 countries including Japan, China and Germany. But while the island’s old barracks have since been restored and used as an interpretive center hosting thousands of visitors, the hospital sat slowly decaying and listing toward ruin.“This building was a beautiful ruin before we were able to save it,” said Katherine Toy, director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. “This building was very close to being lost forever.”

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Guest opinion: Addressing the lack of diversity among California state parks users

As much as things change around us, our seven amazing California State Parks at Lake Tahoe and Donner are a constant, along with the knowledge that Sierra State Parks Foundation supports them.

Thanks to our donors, volunteers and members, SSPF has achieved significant milestones for our parks: an SSPF sponsored state park interpreter at Lake Tahoe provides year-round educational programming; the state park volunteer program at Donner Memorial thrives and grows; numerous restoration projects are complete while many others are underway; and almost 30,000 visitors learned about local history on tours operated by SSPF at Vikingsholm and the Hellman-Ehrman Estate. Ensuring this momentum continues means taking the next step.

The biggest concern for stewards of our parklands is not necessarily the challenge of inadequate budgets and maintenance backlogs. Our parks have a diversity problem of age and color. We need diversity amongst park users to ensure adequate future funding, volunteers and advocacy. Only by making these special places relevant and vital to the next generations, as well as people of color, will they learn to care for and support parks. Attracting advocates and users of our parklands is required for a solid future of our state park gems.

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Damage from earthquakes closes site of historic Bodie ghost town

On social media, there were photos of some items falling off store shelves around Hawthorne, but officials said there were no reports of structural damage to buildings. Matthew Green, chief ranger for the Sierra District of California State Parks, told the San Jose Mercury News that Bodie suffered some damage and that the area would remained closed so a full damage assessment could be completed.

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California’s low-key coastal keeper blazes a 40-year trail

You don’t have to walk from Mexico to Oregon to appreciate the California Coastal Trail, but Morgan Visalli and Jocelyn Enevoldsen did anyway. The young marine scientists spent three months last summer exploring a proposed 1,200-mile route that many consider a symbol of California’s approach to managing its coastline.

A short stroll across scenic bluffs, shifting dunes or sandy beaches is equally worthy of protection, says Tim Duff, a project manager with the California State Coastal Conservancy, the state agency in Oakland that serves as primary architect of the trail.

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Editorial: Beaches are a public trust, not reserved solely for billionaires

The California State Lands Commission, an obscure state entity, took a bold step this week in confronting Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla over a beachfront property he owns on the San Mateo County coast.
The commissioners – Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Controller Betty Yee and a representative of the Department of Finance – had little choice if they were to remain true to the California ethos that this state’s magnificent beaches belong to us all.

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Photo Credit: Julianne Bradford