Policy and Legislation

CSPF develops, sponsors, and advocates for legislation and policy changes to advance our mission of protecting, advocating and enhancing the California state parks system. Two evergreen priorities guide our advocacy work in Sacramento, as well as in local communities and at the federal level:

  • to ensure adequate funding for the support of the state parks system, and
  • to ensure protection against threats and non-mission proposals facing the state parks system.

We build grassroots support and activism and work with partners across California and nationally to create an effective network of park advocates statewide.

CSPF staff is constantly working to identify, review, and contribute to state parks related legislation in California. Our Government Affairs team in Sacramento works tirelessly in the Capitol to make sure state parks are represented, and to keep legislators up-to-date and informed of park-related issues. You can see the bills we are currently watching here.

To help generate support among state policymakers for state parks, CSPF annually hosts Park Advocacy Day. During this day of citizen action, hundreds of park supporters gather together at the state Capitol in Sacramento to meet with one another and with legislators and legislative staff to discuss state park issues and ask for continued support in protecting state parks. Find out more about this annual event here.

In 2010, along with our project partner Save the Redwoods League, we created a new visioning process for the future of California’s state parks, our Park Excellence Project. This project intends to outline a vision of our California state parks as the best they can be, and a step-by-step guide on how to achieve that level of excellence. The goal of the project is to delve into public opinions about the purpose of our state parks and to generate a discussion about state park experiences, programs, and services desired by Californians.

Key themes that emerged from our research included the need for our state parks to continue to protect our heritage, improve ways to welcome visitors, create new opportunities for teaching and educating Californians about the precious natural, cultural and historic resources, and more. You can learn more about the Park Excellence Project and read the full and abridged report here.

California’s 280 magnificent state parks need our protection, as increasing development throughout the state causes pressures to mount on the state parks system. Unfortunately, California’s state parks are often looked at by the private sector and neighboring landowners as the path of least resistance for placing infrastructure and other development projects. These development proposals have significant impacts on sensitive natural, cultural and historic resources in the state parks system.

As part of our work to protect and save our state parks, we are active in fighting these proposals by bringing public attention to the threats facing our state parks, tracking proposals throughout the year, sponsoring legislation, and more. For any questions or concerns, please email advocacy@calparks.org.