6.24.2009

Please Don't Close the Parks...


Last Sunday I joined a large group of other outdoor enthusiasts at Will Rogers State Park. The event was organized by the fantastic Trail Runners Club and was put together to help bring awareness to California State Parks. Basically, it is VERY real possibility that most (over 200) of the CA state parks will lose funding and close. This includes all of the State Parks in the Santa Monica Mountains...where I log most of my miles. Ouch.

You can find plenty of information regarding this issue with a quick Google search or start here. Below is a photo of a recent hike Benton and I took in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Following is the email response I received from the Governor. Don't sugar coat it Arnold, you plan to close the parks. I hear you loud and clear.
____________________________________________________

Thank you for writing to me about funding for our state parks system. Your input is important to me during these challenging times.

California's natural beauty is renowned throughout the world, and I have made it my priority to protect our environment so future generations of Californians can continue to experience and enjoy what we have all come to love. Our state parks provide a fantastic introduction to the California experience and help bring our residents and visitors closer to our landscapes.

Unfortunately, the state cannot continue to bear the costs of supporting every program. Believe me when I say that these cuts have been the hardest decisions of my career as Governor, but we are in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Our revenues for the coming year are at least 27 percent below where they were projected to be just two short years ago. We now face a shortfall that has grown to $24.3 billion, and the people of California have made their voice clear: they want the state to live within its means and solve its problems through spending cuts and not tax increases.

To help manage our budget shortfall, I have proposed eliminating General Fund support for the Department of Parks and Recreation. I understand that these cuts will impact not only the lives of our park employees but the millions of park visitors who visit these national treasurers every year. In spite of these General Fund cuts, though, I will work to keep as many parks open as possible with funding from user fees. It may require raising entry and camping fees, expanding partnerships with local government and non-profit groups, and seeking additional creative ways to support our system in the future.

As I work with my partners in the Legislature to find solutions to these problems, know I will keep your thoughts in mind. Working together, I believe we can weather this storm and start the slow but steady march back toward prosperity.

Sincerely,


Arnold Schwarzenegger

4 comments:

Nicole Chan said...

No Terminator, NO! Don't close the parks!! This makes me so mad, but I'm so happy looking at the picture of Benton. Keep us posted on what happens. I want to run with you when I get home at Will Rogers!

Alaskan Assassin said...

I read about that and was bummed. What is the deal with your state??

I love running out there and will just run bandit style if they close the parks. Like they could catch me anyways. =)

Do what ever you can to keep them open. Humans were meant to be out on the trails!!

Dave Chan said...

I also will hit it up bandit style if they close! You're coming with me Nicole. Running from the law.

Evan, the worst part about it would be the threat of no more PCTR runs in the Santa Monica's like the 50k we both plan to run in November.

Come on people sign those petitions, make your voice heard...do SOMETHING.

Alaskan Assassin said...

I would complain but they would care less about what some crazy Alaskan has to say.

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