press room
For immediate release
January 10, 2008

Bill Bradley



"Today, the Governor took aim at California's treasured state parks, releasing a budget that contains the most draconian cuts ever considered for the state park system," declared Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF).  "Never before have so many parks, and such a diversity of state parks, state historic parks, state recreation areas, and state beaches been placed on the chopping block. The millions of Californians who visit their parks will not tolerate this and will lead the fight to keep our state parks open." 

"As if closing more than 17 percent of the parks system outright isn't a bad enough idea, slashing lifeguard services on state beaches in Santa Cruz, Orange and San Diego Counties is a dangerous proposal. Californians will continue to flock to state beaches, and a lack of skilled lifeguards to protect those beachgoers is not only a recipe for disaster, it will potentially increase costs to the state and also increase the state's risk and legal liability if people are hurt or injured at the beach."

"Closing state parks is not simply an economic exercise. The plan will impact millions of California teachers and schoolchildren who rely upon historic museums and missions to showcase our state's rich history.  California families who have already made plans and reservations for camping trips, summer vacations, and other family getaways in state parks will be immediately impacted. No child who seeks to explore nature and the environment should be turned away from a state park. No teacher who is looking for creative ways to engage students in science and education should be told the state parks are not available for learning."   

"Achieving a mere $9 million savings by hacking at the heart of our state parks system inflicts maximum physical pain for minimal financial gain. Closing California's treasured parks undermines a legacy that has been established for future generations. CSPF urges the Legislature to reject the Governor's proposal." 

State Park Cuts in the FY 08-09 Budget

  • Closure of 48 state parks, including 17 state parks, 17 state historic parks and museums, 3 state beaches, 9 state recreation areas and 2 state reserves (See the full list here)
  • Reduce staffing at least 50 percent for lifeguards on state beaches in Orange, San Diego and Santa Cruz Counties
  • $4.4 million cut from management and operations of state park system

Mid-Year State Park Cuts in the FY 07-08 Budget

  • Revert $30 million General Fund support that was earmarked for deferred maintenance purposes; take from Proposition 84 funds and backfill $30 million cut
  • $1 million reduction from general operating support

About the California State Parks Foundation

The California State Parks Foundation is the only statewide organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing, promoting and advocating for California's 278 State Parks.  Since its inception in 1969, the CSPF has raised more than $136 million in land, funds and artifacts for State Parks. CSPF's support comes from its 90,000 members, corporate partners and foundations.  For more information, please contact CSPF at 415-258-9975 or visit