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California State Parks
Dpr LOGO.jpg
Seal of California State Parks
Agency overview
Formed 1927
Headquarters 1416 9th Street, Sacramento, California
Employees 2,500 permanent staff, 2,700 seasonal, 13,000 volunteers
Annual budget $344 million (2005)
Agency executive Ruth Coleman, Director
Parent agency California Resources Agency
Child agencies Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division
State Office of Historic Preservation

The California Department of Parks and Recreation, also known as California State Parks, manages the California state parks system. The system administers 278 parks and 1.4 million acres (5,700 kmĀ²), with over 280 miles (450 km) of coastline; 625 miles (1,006 km) of lake and river frontage; nearly 15,000 campsites; and 3,000 miles (4,800 km) of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. It has its headquarters in Sacramento.[1]



In 1927, the California Legislature, with the support of Governor C. C. Young, established the State Park Commission,[2] and its original membership included:[3] Major Frederick R. Burnham, W. F. Chandler, William E. Colby (Secretary), Henry W. O'Melveny, and Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur. The following year, a newly-established State Park Commission began gathering support for the first state park bond issue. Its efforts were rewarded in 1928 when Californians voted nearly three-to-one in favor of a $6 million park bond act. In addition, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., completed a statewide survey of potential park lands that defined basic long-range goals and provided guidance for the acquisition and development of state parks. With Newton Drury serving as acquisition officer, the new system of state parks rapidly began to grow.[4]


Responsible for almost one-third of California's scenic coastline (280 miles), California State Parks manages the state's finest coastal wetlands, estuaries, beaches, and dune systems. California State Parks contains the largest and most diverse natural and cultural heritage holdings of any state agency in the nation. State park units include underwater preserves, reserves, and parks; redwood, rhododendron, and wildlife reserves; state beaches, recreation areas, wilderness areas, and reservoirs; state historic parks, historic homes, Spanish era adobe buildings, including museums, visitor centers, cultural reserves, and preserves; as well as lighthouses, Ghost towns, waterslides, conference centers, and off-highway vehicle parks. These parks protect and preserve an unparalleled collection of culturally and environmentally sensitive structures and habitats, threatened plant and animal species, ancient Native American sites, historic structures and artifacts.

In May 2008 The National Trust for Historic Preservation listed the park system as a whole on their list of America's Most Endangered Places.[5]


Proposed closures

On January 10, 2008 Governor Schwarzenegger's office announced that the California State Park System will consider indefinite closures of all or part of 48 specific individual parks (one in five) to help meet the challenges of the looming (projected) 14.5 billion dollar deficit facing California for its 2008-2009 budget year. At least 1 million of more than 14 million dollars in total proposed cuts resulting from park closures would take place during the current budget year. The deficit reducing measure would also reduce or eliminate over 100 staff positions in addition to seasonal lifeguards at many state beaches.[6]

On May 29, 2009, the State of California announced that it planned to close 220 parks, leaving 59 parks open.

See also


  1. ^ "Contact Us." California Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved on November 19, 2009.
  2. ^ "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings: A History of the Sierra Club". Retrieved 2006-07-07.  
  3. ^ Colby, William E.; Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr (April 1933). "Borrego Desert Park". Sierra Club Bulletin XVIII: 144. Retrieved 2007-07-29.  
  4. ^ "A State Park System is Born". State of California. Retrieved 2007-07-28.  
  5. ^ Threats to history seen in budget cuts, bulldozers - Yahoo! News
  6. ^ San Francisco Chronicle, GOVERNOR'S BUDGET PROPOSAL: PARKS URL retrieved January 23, 2008.

External links


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