With the cool waters of the Yuba River finally at safe and enjoyable levels (and temperatures!), the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) has a brief update on the status of potential local state park closures.
At present, 70 state parks are on the state’s closure list, including Malakoff Diggins State Park and the South Yuba River State Park, which encompasses popular use areas at Bridgeport and Purdon Crossing.
SYRCL has convened two well-attended and substantive meetings of the State Park Collaboration Committee since May 2011 with state and local agencies and park supporters to discuss the potential closure of these beloved state parks and the impacts on public health and safety, trash, illegal fires, camping and dredge mining.
Attendees have included SYRCL, the Sierra Fund, California State Parks, the South Yuba River State Park Association, Malakoff Diggins Association, Empire Mine Association, Alden Olmsted, Maidu Tribe, Sequoya Challenge, Friends of Purdon Crossing, and the Nevada County Board of Supervisors.
SYRCL is energetically advocating the state retain services at these two parks. And we are relying on our members and river-lovers to do what they can to protect the Yuba from being “loved to death” – whether that means picking up trash, reporting illegal fires or educating other river-users on the responsible use of our river.
As of August 28, Don Schmidt, Supervising Ranger for Sierra Gold Sector Parks (which oversees the South Yuba parks), had no “new” news on when these two parks will close or what closure might mean to the parks and the public.
Like you, SYRCL has plenty of questions about the impacts of these potential closures: Will park facilities be closed or fenced off? Will there be any trash/recycling/restroom cleanup services available at the popular swimming locations? Will officers patrol the river to offer support in emergency medical situations? Where should the public send complaints or reports of littering, illegal fires and other public health and safety issues?
Unfortunately, these questions (and many others!) remain unanswered.
In the meantime, SYRCL will continue its leadership in the State Park Collaboration Committee as we develop more information and can move ahead with a solid plan to manage all of these critical issues.
Assembly Bill 42 Update
We do have some good news!
According to the California State Park Foundation, Assembly Bill (AB) 42 passed unanimously out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 25 and is now headed to the Senate Floor for a vote.
Assembly Bill 42 helps encourage partnerships by allowing the Department of Parks and Recreation to sign operating agreements with nonprofit organizations to provide some measure of services to keep state parks open and accessible to the public.
The bill has been amended to require that no General Fund dollars be provided to subsidize a nonprofit organization’s operation of a state park (meaning no public money would go to SYRCL or any other non-profit). This language is consistent with language inserted in other state park-related bills this legislative session. We expect the bill to be taken up for a Senate vote as early as August 31. Thank you to everyone who has submitted support letters.
4 Ways that You Can Help the State Parks Today!
1. Closing Parks is Bad for Business placards available for businesses to post: Contact Miriam Limov at Miriam@syrcl.org to order your free placard today and help us spread the word that closing parks doesn’t just impact the park user- it impacts the economy as well. These 11×17 placards can be posted in your businesses in a public area such as at cash registers or in store windows.
2. Support Alden Olmsted’s Efforts to raise one buck at a time: https://www.johnolmsted.net/
$1 from every California resident will save our state parks! Alden Omsted’s father, John Olmsted, dedicated his life to creating some of California’s most valuable state parks. According to Alden, if every California resident donated just $1, the parks would have more than the $22 million currently being cut from the California State Park budget. 60 donation buckets are located throughout California and has raised over $25,000 thus far.
3. Volunteer at the 14th Annual Greater Yuba River Clean-Up and Restoration Day on September 17th and help cleanup portions of the South Yuba River State Park and join us at Bridgeport for a free lunch and entertainment and sign Oversized Postcards to the Governor that will be on-hand at the celebration: The 27×38 “postcards” will help to make sure that we make a big impact when we deliver these signed postcards to Governor Brown in the coming months. A representative from both South Yuba River and Malakoff Diggins State Park Associations will be present to answer your questions about the closure. Register today for your favorite site on-line at www.yubariver.org.
4. Keep up to date on the latest information:
- State Park Foundation website: www.calparks.org/
- SYRCL’s website posts: www.yubariver.org
We are all very anxious to find solutions to this situation and will keep you informed when any new information is available.
To get up to date on the state park issue, please click on the links below to articles already posted on SYRCL’s website (in order of most recent):
Nevada County State Parks on the California Chopping Block:
SYRCL Volunteers and Staff Rally at the Capitol to Save our State Parks:
Nevada County Supervisors Denounce Closure of our State Parks:
June 21st – Support Your State Parks at the Capitol:
Support Your State Parks Tuesday June 14:
SYRCL Staff to be Interviewed on KDVS on May 27 (which includes interview material on the state park issue):
SYRCL Responds to Proposed Closure of South Yuba River State Park: