Key Investments, and Some Gaps, in Historic 2022 May Revise | Cal Parks

Key Investments, and Some Gaps, in Historic 2022 May Revise

Published: May 24, 2022

On Friday, May 13, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom released the May Revision to his 2022-23 state budget proposal, announcing a historic budget surplus of $97.5 billion. While there are some key investments in California state parks in the proposal, some pressing needs in state parks continue to go unmet.  

 

California State Parks Foundation is grateful to Governor Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom for their incredible support of state parks priorities in the budget, including: 

  • $13.5 million in this budget to increase the number of passes in circulation for the California State Library Pass Program, which is currently a 3-year pilot program 

  • $40 million for a new visitor center at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, providing better programming and educational opportunities that will enhance and further understanding and celebration of the historic site 

 

Additionally, we are excited to learn that the state is moving forward on the Governor’s stated goal of adding a new state park to the system, bringing more Californians access to the state parks. The California Department of Parks and Recreation will be evaluating the Dos Rios Ranch Preserve property near Modesto as a potential acquisition, 2,100 acres between San Jose and Modesto.  

 

California State Parks Foundation is grateful for these investments and at the same time knows that additional funding is needed to help state parks reach their full potential, like the priorities we will advocating for below: 

 

EQUITABLE ACCESS 

 

In the Governor’s May Revise, no additional money was included for grants to increase the ability of Californians from park-poor communities and those with lower incomes to participate in outdoor environmental education experiences. These grants, like the Outdoor Equity Grant Program, are successful and historically over-subscribed. We must support non-profits and local government who want to step up and increase equitable access to our state parks. 

 

That is why we are urging the legislature to support and build upon the Governor’s proposed investments in equitable access to state parks, by adding $300 million to support existing outdoor equity and access programs, including $100 million for the Outdoor Equity Grant program at state parks. 

PARK EXPERIENCE

With increased access, we must also prepare our outdoor spaces and parks facilities to support an increase in visitors. California State Parks are currently strained by a $1.2 billion backlog of unfunded maintenance projects across their facilities. The 2022-23 budget proposes only $20 million to address this challenge. In the state’s 2021-22 budget, parks received $200 million in funding towards addressing this backlog, which we regard as a good start but not sufficient to resolve the issue.  

 

That is why California State Parks Foundation is respectfully urging the legislature to champion $200 million for deferred maintenance at state parks. 

 

CLIMATE RESILIENCY 

 

The Governor’s proposed 2021-22 state budget included historic investments in climate resiliency totaling $15 billion, and we must not stop there. California must rise to the occasion and uphold continued investments in climate adaptation, wildfire resilience, and land conservation to protect our parks and our state. 

 

That is why we are urging the legislature to support and build upon the Governor’s proposed investments in climate resiliency by increasing funding to include $6.6 billion over multiple years for wildfire resiliency and $3.3 billion to improve resilience to sea level rise. 

 

Please let your elected officials know that you want more funding for state parks by signing an action alert urging the legislature to champion $200 million for deferred maintenance at state parks. 

 

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