3 Southern California beaches get funding to fix sewer lines

Three California State Parks will receive sewer-line makeovers thanks to the State Water Resources Control Board approving the use of $10 million in bond money from the Clean Beaches Initiative Grant Program. Doheny State Beach, El Capitan State Beach and Carpinteria State Beach will undergo repairs to fix their aging infrastructure.

Blacksmith shop at Sutter’s Fort to be restored

Now the blacksmith shop will be overhauled once again as part of an ongoing renovation that began with the fort’s roof in 2013. It is the fort’s largest renovation since that first one in the 1890s. More than $1 million has been spent on such items as the exterior walls, seismic stabilization, drainage, pathways, gates and exterior lighting for the complex at 27th and L streets.

California lawmakers propose $3 billion November parks bond

California lawmakers on Thursday proposed a $3 billion bond to appear on November ballots that would pay for improvements at state and local parks, saying green spaces are a natural way to improve public safety, health and air quality.

California state parks navigating uncertain future

Generations of county residents and visitors have been similarly awestruck and enthralled during visits to the Sonoma Coast and 10 other state parks, nature reserves and historic sites within the county.
Now, to sustain California’s parks into the 21st century, state officials say the system needs an overhaul. The transformation, as outlined by a panel appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, is meant to move past a management scandal that engulfed the parks system in 2012 and to extend the promise of places that serve as playground, refuge, classroom and museum for up to 75 million visitors a year.

Camping sweep improves Lighthouse Field in Santa Cruz, but litter problems persist

Neighbors and State Parks leaders said a recent late-night sweep of illegal campers at Lighthouse Field State Beach has helped tamp down on litter, but long-term problems of strewn garbage and illegal camping there are far from solved.
State Parks rangers wrote about 15 tickets to people illegally camping in the 38-acre field in June, said Mike McMenamy, chief ranger for State Parks’ Santa Cruz area. Rangers also directed them to some homeless services.
But McMenamy said problems with trash and camping have come in waves since State Parks took over maintenance of the field from the city of Santa Cruz about nine years ago. People often camp in at least a dozen clearings under cypress trees until word spreads that they will be rousted, McMenamy said.

Cheers to a new day at California Citrus State Historic Park

he 400-acre park, in Arlington Heights, got a new lease on life last week when the Friends of California Citrus Park signed an agreement with the state parks system to oversee the groves, maintain the meeting hall, picnic shelter and amphitheater, and subcontract with an events planner to book its venues.

Malibu’s New ‘Party Central’

hanks to social media, there’s no longer any corner of Malibu that could still claim to be “hidden” or a “best-kept secret.” The caves at the top of Corral Canyon were recently closed to the public by California State Parks because of illegal campfires, extensive graffiti and vandalism. The Rindge Dam in Malibu Canyon was closed to visitors two years ago for the same reasons, plus numerous expensive rescues. But the very latest hip place to go in Malibu — ranked the No. 2 thing to do in Malibu on travel website Trip Advisor — is El Matador State Beach.

Monarch butterfly population drops 74 percent in California

“We have thousands of people come every year,” said Abby Putnam, a park interpreter at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz, where the annual Welcome Back Monarchs Day festival will be held Oct. 9 this year. “The butterflies are big, they are beautiful, they inspire a lot of people. They are graceful, they are gentle. And they don’t sting you like some other insects.”
Putnam said roughly 8,000 monarchs spent the winter this year in the towering eucalyptus groves of Natural Bridges. That’s up from 3,400 last year and 4,600 the year before, a jump she said might have been connected with the wetter conditions after four years of drought. But the total is still down from 120,000 in 1997.

Road trip! Steve Lopez explores California’s 1,100 mile coastline

On the 40th Anniversary of California’s Coastal Act, Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez is on a road trip from Oregon to Mexico to explore the state’s 1100 miles of beaches, wetlands, wave-pounded coves, rocky cliffs and the characters who thrive in that iconic realm.

Thumbs up: Trione-Annadel State Park, a worthy name for beloved park

The simple truth is Annadel would not exist if it were not for Henry Trione. This 5,000-acre expanse of rolling hills surrounding Lake Ilsanjo was targeted for housing in 1969 when Trione ponied up $1 million of his own money and persuaded his friend Joe Long of Long’s Drugs to help put together a $5 million package to preserve the land. He also was a founding member of the State Parks Foundation, which has contributed nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to support the parks system over the past 46 years.

Trione-Annadel State Park threatened by its own popularity

But Annadel also serves as a prime example of the pressures and failures besetting the state parks system. It suffers from its own popularity, attracting an estimated 120,000 visitors annually. On weekends, it is not unusual to see horse riders, cyclists and others on foot squeezing onto the same paths. Many of those trails are in dire need of maintenance, with erosion from wear and tear and weather taking a clear toll over the years. At the same time, a widening number of trails are unsanctioned, carved out mostly by renegade bikers exploring terrain that established paths skirt. Homeless encampments also have sprouted in some areas of the park.

Photo Credit: Della Huff