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State Parks Crisis

California’s state park system is the largest and most diverse natural and cultural heritage holdings in the nation. Yet the century-and-a-half-old system has been in perpetual crisis mode for several decades, battered about by funding shortfalls and repeated threats of closures. How California parks — from redwood forests to coastal bluffs and historic monuments — will continue to survive is a story that ardent citizen supporters are striving to determine.

Which California parks should remain under state control?

April 23, 2013 by Dhyana Levey

A long awaited report has sparked a debate on how to best manage the California State Parks system.


National Trust hopes to save slice of history at state park

February 07, 2013 by Christine Sculati

Ceramicist Marguerite Wildenhain left her legacy at Austin Creek State Recreation Area in Sonoma County. What happens when the interests of art history and state parks coincide?


Investigation finds State Parks deliberately hid some funds

January 04, 2013 by Alison Hawkes

The California Attorney General's office releases the results of its investigation into the State Parks Department over its funding fiasco.

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The General’s mission for California state parks

December 21, 2012 by Joan Hamilton

Major General Anthony Jackson came out of retirement for one more mission: to turn around California's state parks department. In a Bay Nature interview, Jackson explains why, "My goal, honest and truly, is not closing any parks."


Will park groups accept the state’s apology?

October 30, 2012 by Joan Hamilton

The California parks department is figuring out how to disperse $10 million to groups that kept their local state parks from closing this year. But some parks fans wonder how they'll get out from the shadow of a parks department in scandal.

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Sonoma parks turn to South Africa, elsewhere for funding ideas

September 17, 2012 by Alison Hawkes

What does South Africa and Sonoma County have in common? Both suffer from debilitating shortages of public funds for parks. ...

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Under new management: China Camp volunteers take the helm

August 10, 2012 by Christine Sculati

After six months of fundraising, the nonprofit Friends of China Camp raised $250,000, enough money to take over operations of ...

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In state parks uproar, Benicia keeps its cool

August 09, 2012 by Joan Hamilton

While park advocates around the state expressed shock and anger over the discovery of a secret stash of $54 million ...

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Fixing State Parks without the “scandal”

July 31, 2012 by David Loeb

It’s certainly not hard to apply words like “outrageous” and “appalling” to the current scandal surrounding $54 million dollars in ...


Lawmakers scramble to avert park closures

June 04, 2012 by Joan Hamilton

With state park closures only a month away, California lawmakers are scrambling to send long-lasting aid to the state park system and keep the gates open.

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