Entrance gate to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation area, which is the largest urban national park in the United States.
“The old model is obsolete.” So finds the Little Hoover Commission report on California’s State Park lands. 1.5 million acres of land are designated as state park land, and the Little Hoover report says those state parks are in sorry shape, victims of incompetent management from the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Compounding the issue are economic factors: Tight budgets mean park facilities can’t be upgraded at a time when visitor numbers are falling, further dampening revenue generated by the parks.
What should California do in response to this report? What are the best options for state parks? What other agencies, entities, and grassroots groups could do a better job? What could happen to 1.5 million acres of parkland if poor choices are made at this apparently critical time?
Stuart Drown, Executive Director of the Little Hoover Commission
Craig Middleton, Executive Director of the Presidio Trust, a self-proclaimed “new” model of park management. He was interviewed as part of the Little Hoover report
Carolyn Schoff, President of the California League of Parks Association and President of the Friends of Pio Pico State Park