State Parks in the News

National parks saw a record-setting number of visitors last year. Were they too much of a good thing?

Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks all set attendance records in 2016 — as did the park system nationwide, recording more than 330 million visits during its centennial year. A new tally shows 330.97 million recreational visits to national parks last year, a 7.72% increase from the year before. The Find Your Park marketing campaign, designed around the 100th anniversary of the NPS’ creation, built on a five-year upswing in visitation nationwide, said Jeffrey Olson, a National Park Service spokesman.

read more

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. The bill would require the conservancy to work with the California Department of Parks and Recreation and to develop a separate pilot program to explore the development, maintenance and operation of affordable accommodations by the private sector and nonprofit organizations.

read more

$50,000 in State Parks revenue lost amid Pismo Beach campground closure

This time last year, revenue for North Beach Campground looked a little different. According to Dena Bellman, park and recreation specialist for Oceano Dunes District of California State Parks, in January 2016, the campground had $30,150 in revenue. This year for the month of January, only $3,525 was generated. February was worse, as no revenue was generated due to the closure. The campground brought in $48,700 last February.

read more

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.

read more

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.

read more

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.”

read more

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.

read more

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.”

read more

Photo Credit: Julianne Bradford