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State Parks and Wildlife Conservation
Trust Fund Act of 2010
Fact Sheet

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Campaign Press Release 
Official Filing with the Attorney General (pdf)
Individual Endorsement Form 
Organizational Endorsement Form (pdf) 

California's state parks are falling apart because of chronic underfunding. Budget cuts are causing them to fall severely behind in needed maintenance and repairs – a backlog of more than $1 billion already exists. Twice in the past two years, state parks were on the brink of closure. Only a last‐minute budget reprieve kept them open. But nearly 60 state parks will be shut down part‐time or their hours of operation reduced because of this year's budget cuts, and more park closure proposals and budget cuts are expected next year. California's parks are becoming less available to the public and are at serious risk of irreversible damage.

In response, a statewide ballot measure has been prepared that would create the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund. Rather than living on a budget roller coaster, the fund would provide a stable, reliable and adequate source of funding for the state park system, for wildlife conservation and for increased and equitable access to those resources for all Californians.

Initiative Basics:

  • The State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund ("Trust Fund") revenues could only be spent on state parks, wildlife, natural lands and ocean conservation programs.
  • The Trust Fund would be funded by an $18 annual State Park Access Pass surcharge on all California cars, motorcycles and recreational vehicles that would be collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles as part of the annual vehicle license fee. Larger commercial vehicles (those subject to the Commercial Vehicle Registration Act), mobile homes and permanent trailers would be exempt.
  • Vehicles subject to the surcharge and all occupants of those vehicles would have free day use admission to all state parks throughout the year.
  • Trust Fund revenues would amount to approximately $500 million each year (based on about 28 million registered vehicles) and 85% would be allocated to state parks and 15% to other state wildlife and ocean protection agencies.
  • With a new dedicated revenue stream in place, approximately $130 million of General Fund dollars ‐ that provide a portion of overall state parks funding ‐ would now be available for other vital needs, like schools, health care, social services or public safety.
  • The Trust Fund would be subject to an independent audit by the State Auditor and a Citizens' Oversight Committee would be created to ensure funds are spent appropriately. Audit, oversight and administrative costs of this measure would be limited to 1% of the annual revenues.

Next Steps:
The proposed measure has been submitted to the California Attorney General's office for official ballot title and summary. An exploratory committee, Californians for State Parks and Wildlife Conservation, has been created to consider the feasibility of this measure for the November 2010 statewide ballot. Early supporters include The Nature Conservancy, California State Parks Foundation and Save the Redwoods League.
For more information on the proposed ballot measure, please call 818.760.2121.