(David McNew/Getty)

Legislation approved on Monday would allow private non-profit groups to operate state parks slated for closure. Join us to discuss what non-profit management might mean for the park system.

Guests:
Jared Huffman, California assemblyman representing the 6th district (D-San Rafael)
Elizabeth Goldstein, president, California State Parks Foundation

  • Christopher

    Maybe the local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Indian Princesses can assist in parts of the park management.  When I made a trip this summer to National Parks throughout UT, I saw local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts picking up trash and enjoying the parks by example.  Just a thought.

  • Kelly

    Why aren’t we holding our elected officials responsible for the closing of 25% of our state parks? How can they find discretionary dollars for all sorts of perks and pet projects but they can’t keep our state parks open? John Muir is rolling in his grave. Who should we write to to voice our concern?

  • Jean

    marijuana growing?  homeless camps?  
    what is it that folks want our parks to become?

    • Christopher

      I totally agree.

  • debbie hill

    How much money would the state get from a tax on oil refinery? Would it be enough to keep the parks open? I feel we are devolving as a society.

  • ultima thule

    Isn’t it odd that the non-profits would be raising funds to keep parks open from the same wealthy individuals and corporations whose taxes (at higher rates than now) used to go into the public coffers to be redistributed on behalf of all citizens.  Non-profits are generally shell corporations which allow the well-to-do shelter ever more of their unearned income from taxation.  The non-profit entity may not make a profit, but the donors do profit from being able to do this.  Non-profits–known as NGOs in foreign countries–often become de facto local governments. One way or another, whether through outright purchase, foreclosure, or non-profit subsidies, private capital is taking over our public resources.

    • Estancil

      I am sorry you have generalized all non-profits in this way.  Our program, run by all volunteers for 34 years, has supplemented the park operations in three parks in California and intends to continue.  

  • ultima thule

    To Estancil:
    Volunteerism in an entity under state aegis is wonderful and necessary, and should always be encouraged. What is happening now is that private individuals and corporations, via the tax shelter of non-profit organizations– are taking over the management of state resources (charter schools, libraries, parks, roads, and so on)–i.e. they are acting as a quasi-governmental institution–and in essence, all those who volunteer (for free) on behalf of private capital, not public interest. They are taking advantage of the truly communitarian spirit that many volunteers have to continue and increase their control of public resources. No private investor would give a penny to a non-profit if there weren’t something in it for them beyond allowing them to assuage their consciences for hoarding far more than their share of the common wealth.

  • Chemist150

    I can say that I don’t care if the state parks go.  As a person from the country, I think of camping as camping.  No one else really around, no facilities.  I certainly don’t think of bringing the crowd of the city with me.  Frankly, state parks annoy me.  I prefer National Forests and staunchly against making everyone to pay for these annoying places. 

    The last time I camped at a state park was the first time in over a decade and I had people coming up to my tent and bothering me at night.  I had people pestering me while I was trying to eat.  There was a group of 20 kids that were loud and played loud music.  It’s not getting away or roughing it.  It’s being annoyed outdoors.  City parks offer the same service.If the visitors and donations can’t support them, then they’re mismanaged or need to be shut down.  Preservation of land is a poor argument.  Preservation is easy, don’t let people go there.  It cost very little to nothing.  That doesn’t even bring up the fact that most of the “native” plants aren’t really native.   So what are you preserving? .

    • Naturegal

      YIKES!!  Glad you aren’t in charge.

      • Chemist150

        The most spectacular place that I’ve seen was not in the “books”, it was not in a state park, nor have many people seen it.  I learned about it from a park ranger in a National Forest and it was in a very unmaintained area of a National Forest.  State parks are for those pretending to return to nature or pretending to rough it.  I just don’t like to bring the city with me when I “get away” which is what the state parks do bring the city with you.

  • Guest

    As a Californian, I am proud to be the owner of our outstanding natural and cultural resources.  It makes me sad that as a society we can’t get our act together to share our resources enough to protect these heritage resources that our ancestors worked so hard to establish.  Parks are more than campgrounds, they are protectors of ecosystems, watersheds and endangered species.  They are the repositories of our cultural stories and objects.  They are here to enrich our lives by their mere existence as well as to offer outstanding recreational opportunities to those who choose to take advantage of them.

  • Steve

    If  this option of non-profit organizations is utilized, how can ordinary citizens get involved in volunteering in Park maintenance, monitoring (to prevent degradation of the park) etc? Who exactly do we contact?

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