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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

California Budget Cuts - Sad Day for State Parks

A Sad Day for State Parks

By Michell Luna, Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods

Well, now we know what we face! The Governor has cut an additional $6.2 million from the State Parks budget bringing the total to $14.2 million for the 2009/2010 fiscal year.

This is devastating news for our parks statewide. We can expect to see the closing of about 100 State Parks after Labor Day.

With the economy affecting so many people, we need our parks. Our campgrounds are full because people are using our parks more then ever. Where will they go to recreate with their families during these trying times?

Our local rural communities will suffer with the loss of tourism dollars. Our local Russian River area State Parks attract over 4 million visitors a year. That represents an influx of millions of dollars into our local economy.

It's now up to us locally to come up with a plan to keep Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, Austin Creek State Recreation Area, Sonoma Coast State Park, Fort Ross State Historic Park and Salt Point State Park open in the Russian River District. Our parks need our help in order to maintain services.

Stewards needs your help as we work with our local District staff to identify partners in our community who value our State Parks and will help us financially to keep them open and keep our community viable. If you are someone who thinks you can help, please contact me as I will be convening a working group of people to help with this effort.

We also need to find a stable and sustainable funding source for our State Parks NOW. If it means a ballot measure for next year, then let's do it and create a positive legacy for our grandchildren so they will not loose the chance to visit a State Park and learn about the fragile natural and cultural resources that we NEED to steward into the future!

I promise to keep you all updated as we move forward with our efforts.

Please contact me if you think you can help at


Mailing Address:
Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
P.O. Box 2
Duncans Mills, CA 95430

Tel: (707) 869-9177

FAX: (707) 869-8252



Promoting education, preservation & restoration of the natural & cultural resources of Russian River area State Parks

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