California State Parks Foundation
Legislative Tracking Report

The California State Parks Foundation closely monitors legislation, takes positions on issues and actively lobbies for and against legislation that would impact California's state parks. As of January 1, 2010 the California State Legislature is currently in the second year of a two year session. The following bills have been identified as priority bills by CSPF.  For information about these bills or CSPF's legislative agenda, contact our Sacramento office at 916-442-2119.   

Click on the bill number to access the Bill Information page at where you can access bill text and a complete history of the bill. You can also "subscribe" to a bill and get email updates whenever the status of the bill changes.  


AB 42


Nonprofit Authority for State Park Operating Agreements


AB 42 would authorize the Department of Parks and Rec (DPR) to enter into an operating agreement for the development, improvement, restoration, care, maintenance, administration, or operation of a unit or units of the state park system with qualified nonprofit organizations that exists to provide visitor services in state parks, facilitate public access to park resources, improve park facilities, or provide interpretive and educational services.

AB 42 is modeled on existing Public Resources Code 5080.36, which allows DPR to enter into an operating agreement with a qualified nonprofit for the operation of one specific state park. This bill provides broader authority to DPR to enter into operating agreements for multiple state parks, without the requirement that each individual operating agreement be subject to specific legislative approval.

AB 42 simply provides another tool to maintain the legacy of our state park system and keep our parks open for all Californians.




SB 580

(Wolk & Kehoe)

No Net Loss of State Park Lands


SB 580 requires that lands specifically acquired for the purpose of a state park cannot be used for non-park purposes unless replacement lands of equivalent value are provided. The bill puts clear criteria in front of the State Park and Recreation Commission when they make decisions regarding non-park uses of state park lands. Under SB 580, state park lands cannot be used for non-park purposes unless there is no practical alternative to using those lands and replacement lands are provided, or a combination of replacement lands and monetary compensation is provided, to make the investment in state parks whole. 

SB 580 sets a high bar for protecting state parks from projects or proposals that threaten parks. Putting these protections in place gives the Commission a clear tool to assert their authority to help protect our state parks and clearly sets out that any effort to impact state park lands must result in “no net loss” of state park lands and access for Californians



SB 644 and AB 587

(Hancock & Gordon)

Prevailing Wage Exemption for Volunteers


Existing law contains an exemption from prevailing wage requirements for volunteers performing public works projects on public lands. Those provisions are effective only until January 1, 2012, and as of that date are repealed. SB 644 and AB 587 would extend the repeal of this provision to January 1, 2017. California’s state park system is woefully underfunded. If volunteers on public work projects in state parks were required to be paid the prevailing wage, it will only exacerbate a financial situation that is already untenable and would essentially remove much-needed volunteers.




AB 1077


Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park


AB 1077 would establish a 2.5-mile “buffer” around Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park that would prohibit development that is incompatible with the historical or recreational significance of the park. Colonel Allensworth SHP is more than 940 acres and commemorates the founding of the town of Allenswrith, the only California town to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans. The park, which includes a restored schoolhouse and library, a 20-until campground and picnic facilities for day use, provides a retelling of the experience of African Americans in California during the early 1900s.

In 2007, state park advocates supported a previous bill (AB 576) to protect Colonel Allensworth SHP form a then-pending proposal to build a mega-dairy adjacent to the state park. The issue was ultimately settled by the state and the dairy farmer, but there is not a policy in place that definitively protects this park – or the 277 others in the state park system for that matter – from future incompatible development projects.



AB 64


California Citrus State Historic Park Operating Agreement


AB 64 requires the Department of Parks and Recreation to enter into an operating agreement with the City of Riverside for the development and operation of California Citrus State Historic Park. Such an operating agreement may allow for effective alternate management of the park, while allowing the state to redirect resources to other parks without such partnerships. However, language in the bill is inconsistent with current law establishing the authority of DPR to permissively enter into operating agreements for other state parks and is inconsistent with AB 42.



Amendment needed to provide permissive authority to the Department to enter into such an agreement.


2010 PRIORITY BILLS (Last updated 8/25/2010)

SB 1034


Archaeological resources: civil penalties. 
(8/19/2010 - Senate concurs in Assembly amendments. (Ayes 35. Noes 0.) To enrollment)


This bill strengthens state law with respect to protecting archeological resources on state lands and is modeled after existing federal law, the Archeological Resources Protection Act. Senate Bill 1034 appropriately establishes a process for state agencies to assess the value of the damaged resources and the full costs of repair and restoration of the disturbed resource and site.  Additionally, the bill authorizes forfeiture of the vehicles and equipment that were used in the damage or destruction of the resource.  These provisions will not only provide much-needed tools to both state and local agencies, but create conformity with federal law and penalties, and improve coordination among state and federal resource management and law enforcement agencies.





SB 372 (Kehoe) State parks system: unit modification, adjustment, or removal. (Vetoed-10/11/2009)
Click here for Elizabeth Goldstein's Statement

Final Status: 10/11/09 Vetoed by Governor

·  This bill would have required that any proposed alteration or modification of a state park must get approval from the state Park and Recreation Commission.  The Commission would then need to recommend such a change to the state Legislature, which would then be required to affirmatively act to alter or modify that state park. 

SB 679 (Wolk) State parks: acquired land: limits on disposition or use. (Vetoed-10/11/2009). Click here for Elizabeth Goldstein's Statement

Final Status:  10/11/09 Vetoed by Governor

·  This bill would have protected California's state park system against development proposals that are inconsistent with state parks, and ensured that efforts to use state parks for non-park purposes result in no net loss of park lands for Californians

·  This bill would have required that state park lands cannot be used for non-park purposes unless there is no practical alternative to using those lands and either:

(1)  replacement lands are provided that are

a.  of equivalent environmental & fair market value, and
b.  in the area where those impacted from the loss of park lands will benefit from the new lands, or

(2)  if there is no way to replace all of the park lands being used for non-park purposes, a combination of replacement lands and monetary compensation is provided to make the investment in state parks whole. 


AB 1364 (Evans) Public contracts: state bonds: grant agreements.

CSPF Position: Support (Sponsor)

Final Status: 10/11/09 Chaptered

·  Allows state departments and agencies to adjust timelines and grant deliverables for projects affected by the December 2008 state bond freeze.

·  Provides clear authority to all agencies and departments affected by the freeze, in order to allow them to give clarity to their grantees and vendors. 

SB 555 (Kehoe) Eminent Domain Law: conservation easement.

CSPF Position: Support

Final Status: 10/11/09 Vetoed by Governor

·  This bill would have prohibited any government body from condemning a conservation easement unless the agency directly consulted and responded to the conservation easement holder, and provided clear and convincing evidence that condemning the easement is necessary.