Posts Tagged ‘State Park’

“Change in Trail Use” Meeting Sees Big Turnout

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Karl Knapp addresses the audience. Photo by: Michael McClure

On Wednesday night the Angeles District of the California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR) hosted a public meeting regarding a recently submitted Change in Trail Use proposal for Lookout and Yearling Trails in Malibu Creek State Park. Approximately 125 people packed the Administration Center’s conference room, where Angeles District Acting Superintendent Craig Sap and  CDPR Roads and Trails Operations Manager Karl Knapp explained the process and answered questions. Sap concluded this segment of the meeting by saying that anyone is welcome to call or email him with questions and concerns (818-880-0396,

In an earlier blog we discussed the Change in Trail Use (CTU) process which included the CDPR flow chart (see link at the end of this story). No significant additional information came out of this meeting, except perhaps the clarification by CDPR that CORBA did not request the rerouting of a couple of sections of the Yearling and Lookout Trails. In fact it was already the State’s intention to realign portions of the trails due to instability, prior to the Change in Trail Use evaluation. Key points of the CTU proposal were that the process is still ongoing and will need California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) approval; since modifications in the trail have been recommended, a Project Evaluation Form will need to be submitted; and funding is still needed.

After the discussion by Sap and Knapp, attendees were asked to gather at tables to ask questions and submit comments to agency representatives, including Angeles District Topanga Sector Superintendent Lynette Brody and National Park Service (Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area) Trails Planner Melanie Beck. During this part of the meeting, CORBA hand-delivered the results of our online petition with 550 signatures to State Parks officials.

We will post any new developments as we learn of them.

A more detailed account (with photos) of the meeting can be found here (the comments and opinions are solely those of the author, Michael McClure).

State Parks has provided us with a blank Trail Use Change package. The first page of this package is a flow chart of the entire process, and the other pages are the Trail Use Change Survey that is completed while evaluating the trail.

CORBA Clarifies Sierra Club’s Misinformation

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

In the Santa Monica Mountains Task Force of the Sierra Club’s February newsletter, an article about CORBA’s Change In Trail Use request contained incorrect information. The article (see below) stated that CORBA requested the “reworking” of the Yearling and Lookout Trails, which is incorrect. Here is the reply that was sent to the Task Force’s Chair Mary Ann Webster:

Dear Mary Ann,
In reference to your recent Santa Monica Mountains Task Force of the Sierra Club newsletter, I wanted to point out that CORBA did not propose “reworking” the Yearling and Lookout Trails. CORBA was not involved with the analysis and planning of any kind of rerouting or realignment of these trails as part of the State Park’s Trail Use Change Survey.

While it is true CORBA requested that these trails be considered for bicycle access (as well as the Musch Trail in Topanga State Park), the request has been on record with State Parks for more than 15 years, and includes several trails throughout the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area that are closed to bicycles.

Mark Langton
President, CORBA



CORBA has asked ACTING ANGELES DISTRICT ACTING SUPERINTENDENT CRAIG SAP to consider opening the MUSCH RANCH TRAIL to mountain bikes. Some people are afraid he might be considering responding in the affirmative. The reaction from the Task Force and the TOPANGA STATE PARK DOCENTS was not long in coming. Emails flew back and forth objecting to the proposal and asking for a meeting with Acting Superintendent Sap.

Soon after CORBA also proposed “reworking” and opening to mountain bikes the LOOKOUT and YEARLING TRAILS in the Reagan Ranch portion of MALIBU CREEK STATE PARK. These trails are in botanically and historically sensitive portions of the Reagan Woodland, and parts of them become very muddy in rainy periods, resulting in serious damage to the trail and adjoining woodland flowers. Equestrian leader RUTHIE GERSON reacted very strongly against opening these trails to mountain bikes, as did several MALIBU CREEK STATE PARK DOCENTS.

We took the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Reagan’s birth to point out that Ronald Reagan told a few of us in 1977 that he had personally laid out the Yearling and Lookout trails as his personal riding trails when he owned the Reagan Ranch. That information started a movement among the Malibu Creek State Park Docents to add the Yearling and Lookout trails to the National Register of Historic Places.

Meanwhile, the Topanga and Malibu Creek docents have asked Acting Superintendent Craig Sap to meet with all stakeholders on this issue instead of meeting only with Corba.

Trail Use Change Proposal Meeting

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

The Angeles District of the California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR) has announced a public information meeting for people wanting to know more about the recent trail use change proposal to accept bicycle use on Yearling and Lookout Trails in Malibu Creek State Park. The meeting will be at the Malibu Creek State Park Administration Center, 1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas on March 2 from 6-7:30pm. Parking fee will be waived for those attending the meeting. The entrance to the administration building is through the first driveway to the left as you pass the information kiosk at the main entrance to Malibu Creek State Park.

As reported on this blog, CDPR conducted a Trail Use Change Survey and accepted CORBA’s proposal to allow bicycles on the Yearling and Lookout Trails, which are included on a list of trails that CORBA originally submitted for consideration more than 15 years ago, and again most recently in November of 2010. The agenda for this meeting and a copy of the Trail Use Change Survey can be found below.

Trail Use Change Proposal Meeting Agenda

Purpose of the Meeting:

The purpose of this meeting is to gather input from local user groups on a proposed Trail Use Change proposal for the Yearling and Lookout Trails located within Malibu Creek State Park.


  • Trail Management Plan
  • Trail Use Change Survey
  • Condition Assessment/Evaluations
  • State Parks Multi-Use Design Criteria
  • Why Yearling/Lookout was selected
  • What modifications would be needed

Public Comment

Trail Use Change Process

Trail Conversions to Begin in Malibu Creek State Park

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

On January 26, 2011, CORBA Board of Directors members Mark Langton and Danusia Bennett-Taber met with representatives of California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR) regarding CORBA’s request for considering the change in use of trails to include mountain bikes. This meeting is was part of the State’s new trail conversion process, and several more meetings are expected as more trails are assessed. Representing CDPR were Acting District Superintendent Craig Sap, Topanga Sector Superintendent Lynette Brody, Maintenance Chief Dennis Dolinar, Maintenance Supervisor Dale Skinner, Resource Specialist Tom Dore, Ranger Tony Hoffman, and Roads and Trails Manager of the Facility Management Division Karl Knapp.

It was explained that the trails that were being presented this day were considered for their potential ease of conversion as well as meeting CORBA’s criteria; connectivity, access to the Backbone Trail, and increased access to singletrack. The trails were Musch Trail in Topanga State Park, and Yearling and Lookout Trails in Malibu Creek State Park.

All three of these trails were recommended for conversion to accept mountain bike access. Below are brief descriptions of the recommendations.


CDPR recommended that the proposed use change to allow bicycles be accepted with conditions, including significant re-routing of the section east of Backcountry Camp, and re-establishing of tread west of Backcountry Camp. Although the recommendation is to allow bikes, the amount of work/resources necessary makes this a low priority conversion and will not likely be undertaken in the short term. CORBA is confident that the trail will be converted at some point, but recognizes that the amount of resources available to re-establish and reroute the trail keeps it from being a priority. There are several other trails that can be converted with the same or less effort, but CORBA will remain diligent and make sure at some point Musch Trail becomes a priority.


Yearling Trail

CDPR recommended that the proposed use change to allow bicycles be accepted with conditions, including a significant re-route of Yearling Trail, and a couple of smaller re-routes on Lookout Trail. Because the tread surface of some of the Yearling Trail is unstable and poses a safety hazard to all users, work will begin quickly pending further State Park evaluation. In combination with the Lookout Trail, this route will create a significant connector for cyclists from the northwest side of Malibu Creek State Park at Regan Ranch (corner of Cornell Road and Mulholland Hwy.) to Crags Road Trail.

The timetable is somewhat unclear, and work is still subject to a CEQA study. However, this represents an important milestone in getting increased access to trails that had been previously closed to bicycles.

Grassland Trail In Malibu Creek in Question

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

A couple of days ago CORBA received reports from some of our members that while riding in Malibu Creek State Park they were told by Mounted Volunteer Patrol (MVP, equestrian) members that “only fireroads, no singletrack” were open to bikes and that the section of Grassland Trail from Mulholland Hwy. and from the Edison Station to Las Virgenes Fireroad/Liberty Canyon Fireroad sections were not open to mountain bikes. It was also reported that this went for the stream bed section of Crags Road Trail (aka the Creek of Doom).

Subsequent conversations with local rangers indicated that the information about the stream bed was incorrect, and that it was open to mountain bikes. The Grassland Trail was not as clear.

On Tuesday 1/26 members of CORBA’s Board of Directors met with State Park officials on several issues, one of them being Grassland Trail’s use designation regarding the sections in question mentioned above. Representing State Parks were Acting District Superintendent Craig Sap, Topanga Sector Superintendent Lynnette Brody, Maintenance Chief Dennis Dolinar, Maintenance Supervisor Dale Skinner, Resource Specialist Tom Dore, Ranger Tony Hoffman, and Roads and Trails Manager of the Facility Management Division Karl Knapp. None of these individuals knew with certainty what the designation of Grassland Trail was, and did not have documentation readily available. They did say that to their knowledge there had never been a closure to bicycles, and have been operating under the assumption it is multi-use, including bicycles. They guaranteed they would provide definitive information as soon as possible, and said that at this time the use designation is status quo, meaning that currently bicycle use is admitted. They also confirmed that the stream bed designation is multi-use, as is the singletrack from De Anza Park to Las Virgenes Fireroad.

CORBA Meets With State Parks Superintendents

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

On November 22 CORBA Board of Directors members Mark Langton, Hans Keifer, Danusia Bennett-Taber, and Steve Messer, along with IMBA representative Jim Hasenauer, met with Topanga Sector Superintendent Lynette Brody and Acting Angeles District Superintendent Craig Sap. The specific purpose of the meeting was to update Superintendent Sap on CORBA’s programs as well as to review the trail conversion request made by CORBA more than two years ago as part of a state-wide process.

Several key points were brought up during this meeting:

-CORBA programs (trail work and maintenance, Youth Adventures and CORBA Kids Club, Skills Classes) and their positive value and impact on the trail user community.

-Mountain bikers, despite representing a large percentage of overall trail users, have the fewest miles of singletrack trails available. Mountain bikers, based on numbers and skill levels, deserve a diversity of experiences (beginner, intermediate, advanced) the same way that hikers have access to a wide variety of trails, as well as equity of experience that our numbers justify. We also stressed connectivity as there are many missing links and places where bicyclists are cut off from important destinations.

-Trails currently closed that should be designated as shared use: Backbone Trail segments of Musch, Topanga to Malibu Creek, Ray Miller, Paramount to Malibu Creek (Lookout or Yearling, Topanga SP to Temescal Gateway Park, Temescal to Rogers State Historic Park; other trails currently closed to mountain biking including Rustic Canyon from Mulholland and from Rogers Road, Los Liones, Bent Arrow, and Garapito trails in Topanga SP, Nicholas Flats Trail in Leo Carillo SP, Hidden Pond and Coyote trails in Point Mugu SP.

-We were frustrated at recent actions that seemingly ignored our concerns while almost concurrently created diminished opportunities and conditions for not only mountain bikers, but all trail users.

-Current status of the trail conversion process in the Angeles District.

While this meeting was in some respects a new beginning with State Parks leadership, Superintendents Brody and Sap were both very familiar with CORBA in general, and there was certainly an air of cooperation that we have not experienced in several years. Said Superintendent Sap in a follow-up email response, “I feel yesterday’s meeting was very productive. I came away with a greater appreciation of CORBA and feel encouraged that we can move forward with a renewed atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding.” CORBA’s feeling is that there is an improved sense of commitment and enthusiasm from State Parks management, and that they comprehended our points about equity, diversity, and increased opportunities. In particular, we were assured that direction by trails experts at the State level will be weighted heavily in the conversion process, and that the public will have opportunities to submit input. We were also told that management recognized that recent actions that effected trail conditions and access were not handled appropriately in respect to informing the public, and that greater efforts would be made to fully educate the trail user community of impending actions moving forward.

The current status of the conversion process is ongoing, with trails in Topanga State Park taking priority as part of the current development of a trail plan in that park. On December 15 the use status of Musch, Lookout, Yearling, and Deerleg Trails will be discussed by State Park personnel and an announcement will follow shortly.

Rogers Road Trail Update

Monday, November 15th, 2010

On November 10, CORBA Board members Mark Langton, Jeff Klinger, Hans Keifer, Danusia Bennet-Taber, and Steve Messer, along with Jim Hasenauer of IMBA and Bryan Gordon of the Canyonback Alliance, walked/rode the upper section of Rogers Road Trail with Topanga Sector Superintendent Lynette Brody and Maintenance Supervisor Dale Skinner.  This tour was arranged by CORBA with these State Park employees in response to intense public input regarding recent work performed on the “re-route” (singletrack) section of trail (west where it meets Temescal Ridge Fire Road) as well as about a mile and a half of the wider road bed to the east of the singletrack. In the past few weeks, Supervisor Skinner has used a Sweco trail tractor/dozer to fix and install several drainage channels, as well as bring the trail up to vegetation clearance guidelines for multiple use, specifically, equestrians. Many local trail users have complained to State Parks that the work was overdone and that a once narrow, serene singletrack trail has been obliterated into a road.

There are actually two separate sections, the “re-route” which was built as a true narrow trail, and the main Rogers Road Trail, which was originally a road cut that supported wide and heavy equipment.

Earlier comments on CORBA’s web site began by trying to assuage concerns of trail users not familiar with this kind of work by saying that typically trails “come back” to a more natural state after a couple of seasons. This can be said for the “re-route” section, although CORBA noted to Supervisor Skinner that the widening created a “faster trail” and suggested that possible speed control devices such as pinch-point structures be considered.

As for the wider section, based on the tour that took place on November 10, CORBA’s original comments were premature. After witnessing the complete section of the work area and hearing comments made by Supervisor Skinner, as well as an evaluation by professional trail contractor Hans Keifer, it is evident that the work that was performed lacked forethought and consideration for minimal impact. In fact, no Project Evaluation Form (PEF) was submitted for this work and therefore is in direct violation of the department’s own policy. We were assured by both Superintendent Brody and Supervisor Skinner that the work will not continue until a Project Evaluation Form is completed and that trail users will have a say in the process, which they said could take several months to over a year.

It’s true that after new construction or trail maintenance, trails look bare and lose their natural character.  Typically, Spring rains create new vegetation which helps the trails recover some of their more natural character.   This has been our experience on several agency trail maintenance projects in the past.  In the case of the recent work on the wider section of Rogers Road Trail there was a fundamental disagreement between the State’s position that Rogers should be maintained to “road” standards and that vegetation should be cut wider than the 8-foot wide/10-foot high vegetation clearance suggested by multiple use guidelines–and CORBA’s position that Rogers is a trail (the Backbone Trail), not a road; that the 8-foot/10-foot clearance was for new trail construction, not existing trails, and that the trail should be left as narrow and natural as possible while addressing and achieving the maintenance concerns of water drainage and a proper vegetation width for shared use with equestrians.

We acknowledged that this is a multi-use trail that must work for all users and that there are several drainage and maintenance issues that are beyond the scope of handwork.  We demonstrated how anything more than an 8-foot clearance wasn’t necessary for safety or sustainability and that in many cases the clearance that has been done was far wider than eight feet.  CORBA’s position is that this work went too far and urged State Parks to minimize the impact of the maintenance on the only bike-legal singletrack in Topanga State Park.

We were informed that the plan was to continue the work down to the Will Rogers State Historic Park Trail Loop, and we also expressed serious concern about continuing these impacts into what is admittedly an eroded and deteriorating section of trail. Superintendent Brody and Supervisor Skinner reiterated that moving forward, greater evaluation and a full PEF would take place and could take several months to over a year.

Examination of the new/refurbished drains that were installed shows minimal attention to corrected out sloping to facilitate proper drainage; drains were basically cut with only a few passes with the Sweco’s blade and very little additional shaping or contouring was evident. On another section of trail, an entire corner (approximately 250-300 square feet) was scraped clean of vegetation, with the reason for the denudation being “ it’s for the hikers. Hikers like the beautiful views.” This brush clearance ignores the fact that it created a large, bare, disturbed area of unprotected, easily eroded earth that will exacerbate hydro erosion because there is no root system to control runoff. Also, there was no drain installed at the bottom of the hill where water would run to from this bare area. Another section of trail further south was smoothed of ruts and out sloped correctly. However, the width of the tread was increased to approximately 12 feet, far more than what CORBA considers appropriate or necessary.

Maintenance Supervisor Dale Skinner (left foreground) and members of CORBA discuss the complete removal of vegetation from dozens of square yards of soil at an "overlook" section of Rogers Road Trail. Photo by Jim Hasenauer

Again, we were assured by both Superintendent Brody and Supervisor Skinner that the work will not continue until a Project Evaluation Form is completed and that trail users will have a say in the process. Check back here for further information as we get it. There will be several opportunities to get involved as trail planning in Topanga State Park and the rest of the Santa Monica’s moves forward. We encourage you to get involved with your parks’ planning process and be proactive in shaping park policy, planning and landscapes.

Rim of the Valley Study Comments

Friday, October 29th, 2010

As we reported back in August, the National Park Service has been holding public hearings on the Rim of the Valley Special Resource Study.  The public meetings have provided an opportunity for many to voice their support and/or concerns for the concept study.  Until midnight tonight, you can email your comments to the National Park Service.

Rim of the Valley Study Area Map

Rim of the Valley Study Area

The Rim of the Valley is comprised of the open spaces that surround the San Fernando, La Crescenta, Santa Clarita, Simi and Conejo valleys. This area spans both Los Angeles and Ventury County, and a bevy of land managers from different agencies. CORBA fully supports the prospect of having these various land managers come together under the direction of the National Park Service, with the goal of permanently protecting this vital ecological and recreational resource.


Topanga State Park Meeting #2

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

On July 28, Jim Hasenauer and Jeff Klinger attended the second General Plan Meeting for Topanga State Park. It is important that riders weigh-in on this process and view the planning website at:

Most of this meeting focused on the vision for the park and the idea of management zones. There are several important concerns for cyclists. Input at this phase of the General Plan process will be used to formulate the Preferred Plan. Please read the following, check out the website and comment at:

1. The plan emphasizes preservation of Topanga’s significant natural resources. We support that. Unfortunately, the vision does not give strong enough commitment to trail recreation in the park. The mission of California State Parks is: To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Topanga’s vision needs to be consistent with the agency’s mission. The Vision should include a statement such as: “Provide outstanding sustainable and diverse trail experiences for hikers, mountain bicyclists, equestrians and other park visitors.”

2. Mountain bicyclists have enjoyed Topanga since the very first days of our sport. One of the early mountain bike pioneers, Victor Vincente of America, developed his prototype “Topanga” mountain bike there. When CORBA was formed in 1987, it was partially in response to the closing of singletracks in Topanga State Park. Mountain bicyclists want equity of trail experiences, diversity of trail experiences, and connectivity of trails. The plan will influence each of these for many years, so it’s important that you submit comments now.

Equity of trail experience – If you ride Topanga, you know that on any given day, most of the trail users are on bicycles. In contrast, we’re only allowed on less than half the trails/roads. All singletracks, with the exception of Roger’s Road, are closed to us. It’s fine to have one or two singletracks “hiker only,” but it is not fair to have all but one of them closed. An early descriptive statement on the Planning web page says “singletrack trails host hikers and sometimes equestrians.” It’s time for this to change. Let the Park Service know which singletrack trails would be important to you. Ask them to open them. Another concern is that the park is considering “natural and cultural preserves.” In most cases, preserves ban bicycles. We are, of course, committed to protecting these wild and significant areas, but there should be bicycle access to and through these preserves.

Diversity of Trail Experience—Mountain bicyclists, like other outdoor recreationalists, are diverse in our interests and abilities. Topanga riders range from beginners, including children first learning to ride, to skilled, technical, even professional riders. The one size fits all view of “fire roads yes/singletracks no,” does not serve the public’s recreational needs. Our highest priority for the Santa Monica Mountains has always been access to the entire length of the Backbone Trail. In Topanga, Hondo Canyon and the Musch trail are sections of the Backbone that mountain bikers want open. In the planning meeting, they presented a “Visitor Based Camping and Trail Map” that shows the Hondo Canyon section of the Backbone open to bikes. We need to support that. It is true that not everyone could ride all of the Hondo Canyon trail without walking, but that doesn’t mean it should be closed to us. In fact, part of the experience of mountain biking is the adventure of exploring new trails and to hop off and hike-a-bike sections that are too steep or technical for our abilities. Land managers don’t seem to understand this concept, or mountain bikers in general. The Musch Trail is a significant missing link in all of their plans. There’s a trail camp there, which we need access to. The Backbone Trail is the most significant, long distance trail in the Santa Monicas. It should be open to us. The Plan also envisions a major trailhead for the Coastal Slope Trail, a long distance trail on the ocean side slope of the mountains. This too must be multiple-use.

Connectivity of trails – There are at least two major obstacles to connectivity in Topanga. The first is the cyclist missing link to the Backbone mentioned above. The second is bike access to Temescal Canyon. Over the last several years, Temescal Canyon has become the site of regular meetings, seminars, interpretive events, family activities, etc. Those of us coming from the San Fernando Valley side cannot get there by bike. That’s particularly frustrating because there are two trails that go from Topanga State Park to Temescal and one trail that goes from Will Rogers State Park to Temescal. All three of these are closed to us. The Visitor Based map indicates that the Temescal Ridge Trail would be open to bikes. This is significant and needs to be supported.

Vehicles on dirt Mulholland – State Parks is considering allowing cars to drive along dirt Mulholland in the Mulholland Corridor Zone (see map). We oppose this. Note that it does not have to be either “visitor based” or “preservation based,” it can be a mix of both.

It’s important that you let State Park officials know that you love Topanga State Park and have specific recreational needs there. We have seen the Angeles District of State Parks spend tax dollars on new “No Bikes” signage in Topanga and we’ve seen their employees attempt to re-designate Sin Nombre and two Foxes trails in Pt. Mugu to hiker-only (which CORBA literally caught in the act and prevented). Overall, they APPEAR to be biased against, and turning a blind-eye to the needs of the State’s residents who visit and recreate at State Parks via mountain bicycle. Well, State Parks is reaching out to the public for input and support. Let them know that you, as a State Parks visitor, supporter, and enthusiast, expect more from them, and equitable representation in this plan. Email comments to: or write: SOUTHERN SERVICE CENTER / Project Lead, 8885 Rio San Diego Dr., #270, San Diego, CA  92108-1627


Jim Hasenauer & Jeff Klinger

CORBA Endorses Prop 21

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Passage of Proposition 21, slated for the November 2 state ballot, will help create the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund, providing a stable source of funding for the state park system.

See below for the full article from Yes On 21 For State Parks’ web site. For more information go to You may also want to consider endorsing the proposition by going to


From the vast stretches of sandy beaches along California’s magnificent coastline to the towering redwoods and much-needed recreational areas in the state’s bustling urban centers, California’s 278 state parks are priceless public assets and a vital legacy for our children and grandchildren.

But the state’s parks are in peril. Budget cuts are starving state parks, causing them to fall severely behind in needed maintenance and repairs. Twice in the past two years, state parks were on the brink of being shut down. Only last-minute budget reprieves kept them open. Last year, 150 state parks were shut down part-time or suffered deep service reductions because of budget cuts, and more park closure proposals and budget cuts are expected this year. California’s parks are becoming less available to the public and are at serious risk of irreversible damage.

That is why Prop. 21, slated for the Nov. 2 statewide ballot, will create the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund. The fund will provide a stable, reliable and adequate source of funding for the state park system, for wildlife conservation and for increased and equitable access to those resources for all Californians.

Prop. 21 will give California vehicles free year-round day-use admission to state parks in exchange for a new $18 vehicle license fee, which will be specifically dedicated to state parks and wildlife conservation. The surcharge will apply to most California vehicles, including motorcycles and recreational vehicles, and will be collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles as part of the annual vehicle license fee. It will not apply to larger commercial vehicles (those subject to the Commercial Vehicle Registration Act), mobile homes or permanent trailers.

Supporters of Prop. 21 include The Nature Conservancy, Peninsula Open Space Trust, California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, Public Health Institute, California Travel Industry Association, Boy Scouts of America, AFSCME California PEOPLE, Sierra Club California, Audubon California, California State Lifeguard Association, California Lodging Industry Association, Latino Health Access, California State Conference of the NAACP, California State Parks Foundation and Save the Redwoods League.

California State Parks in Peril Because of Chronic Underfunding

·         California’s parks, once considered the best in the nation, are falling apart because of chronic underfunding. Roofs andsewage systems leak, restrooms are not cleaned regularly, bridges have collapsed, trails are washed out, campgrounds and visitor centers are shuttered and buildings and structures throughout the system are badly deteriorated.

·         With no reliable source of funding, the state parks have accumulated a backlog of more than $1 billion in maintenance and repairs.

·         Thousands of scenic acres are closed to the public because of reductions in park rangers, and crime has more than doubled. Destruction and vandalism of the parks themselves has grown fourfold, and beachgoers are often unprotected because of decreases in lifeguards.

·         The parks are in such peril that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named California state parks one of the 11 most endangered sites in America.

Protect State Parks and Wildlife by Creating a Conservation Trust Fund

·         To ensure Californians have the high-quality, well-maintained state park system they deserve, Prop. 21 will establish the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund in the state treasury where, by law, it could only be spent on state parks, wildlife conservation, natural lands and ocean conservation programs. The Legislature couldn’t reallocate the Trust Fund for other uses.
·         Funding for the Trust Fund will come from an $18 annual State Park Access Pass surcharge on all California cars, motorcycles and recreational vehicles that will be collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles as part of the annual vehicle license fee. Larger commercial vehicles (those subject to the Commercial Vehicle Registration Act), mobile homes and permanent trailers will be exempt.

·         California vehicles subject to the State Park Access Pass surcharge and all occupants of those vehicles will receive free day-use admission to all state parks throughout the year, which currently costs as much as $125 for an annual pass or $10-$15 per day. Out-of-state vehicles will continue to pay full entrance fees at parks.

·         Trust Fund revenues will amount to approximately $500 million each year (based on about 28 million registered vehicles) and 85 percent will be allocated to state parks and 15 percent to other state wildlife and ocean protection agencies.

·         With a new dedicated revenue stream in place, more than $130 million of General Fund dollars -that provide a portion of overall state park funding -will now be available for other vital needs, like schools, health care, social services or public safety.

State Parks Strengthen the Economy and Serve as a Legacy for Future Generations

·         State parks strengthen the economy by attracting millions of tourists, who spend $4.32 billion annually in park-related expenditures in California, according to a recent study. It found state park visitors spend an average of $57.63 in surrounding communities per visit. They generate so much economic activity that every dollar the state spends on state parks generates another $2.35 for California’s treasury.

·         Every year, there are nearly 80 million visits to state parks, where the abundance of outdoor activities entices visitors toexercise and lead healthier lifestyles. Parks contribute to public health by protecting forests and natural areas that aresources of clean air and water and by combating climate change by reducing greenhouse gases. They also protect the state’s wide diversity of plants and animals, preserve an unparalleled collection of historic and cultural assets and provide exciting educational opportunities for young and old alike.

Tough Fiscal & Accountability Safeguards to Protect the Voters’ Investment…

·         The Trust Fund will be subject to an independent audit by the State Auditor every year. The findings will be released to the public, placed on the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s website and submitted to the State Legislature for review as part of the state budget.

·         A Citizens’ Oversight Committee will be created to ensure funds from this measure are spent appropriately.

·         Audit, oversight and administrative costs of this measure will be limited to just 1 percent of the annual revenues.

Unless we take steps now, California’s parks, a priceless community asset, will continue to close or suffer deep service reductions that threaten our state’s economy and job-creation. You can also visit for more information, or endorse at