The California state parks system holds some of the most iconic, historic and cultural treasures of California. Californians have made a commitment and investment in their park system for more than 100 years, beginning in 1902 when funds were approved to purchase California’s first state park. As a demonstration of the hard work of countless Californians, today the state park system includes 280 state parks of irreplaceable natural, cultural and historic resources.

Over the recent decades, enacted budgets have provided only short-term budget relief and lacked the forethought for future generations. As a result, the state parks system now endures constant underfunding and erratic funding proposals. This timeline chronicles budget proposals for California’s state parks over the last few years, and is an explanation on how California’s state parks went from a world-class parks system to a deteriorating one.