In 2011, CSPF worked with then-Assemblymember Jared Huffman to introduce legislation – Assembly Bill 1589 and Assembly Bill 1478 – that helped lay the groundwork for the Parks Forward Initiative. Both bills included a requirement that an advisory board be established to conduct an independent assessment of the California state parks system and make recommendations to both the Legislature and the governor on park management, planning and funding to ensure a sustainable future.
The Parks Forward Initiative, announced in June 2013, was created in order to complete an assessment of the current state parks system and develop recommendations for a fully-funded and sustainable system, with accompanying implementation strategies. To guide the project, a new volunteer panel was created – the Parks Forward Commission. The Parks Forward Commission is comprised of members with diverse backgrounds who are providing strategic oversight and review.
In late October, the Parks Forward Commission concluded a series of statewide “listening sessions” held in concert with the State Park and Recreation Commission, where they solicited ideas for improving fiscal sustainability, partnerships, and outreach for our state parks.
The Parks Forward Commission issued a staff draft report on April 23, 2014 that included a frank assessment of DPR and the challenges before it. Afterthe draft report’s release, the Parks Forward Commission held three public workshops in San Rafael, Los Angeles and Sacramento to gather public comments on the draft.
On January 30, 2015, the Commission released its final report, A New Vision for California State Parks, with its assessment of the state parks system and its recommendations for improvement.
To find out more information about the initiative, go to parksforward.com.