SYRCL Partners with State Parks to Keep Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park Open

Annual Humbug Day at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park

Nevada City, CA – The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) signed a partnership agreement with the State Department of Parks and Recreation to keep the Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, which preserves the world’s largest hydraulic mine dating back to 1852, open to the public through June 30, 2014.

According to the agreement, Malakoff Diggins will remain open for a limited three day per week operation.  The park museum and historic buildings will be open to the public Friday through Sunday for talks, tours, and gift shop sales from July 1 – September 30, 2013 and May 1 – June 30, 2014. Three popular “miner’s cabins,” will be available for rent through Reserve America into early fall and again next spring. The campground, however, will remain closed until further funding becomes available.

“Thanks to this generous stop-gap funding from the California State Parks Foundation, we now have another year to work with local State Parks staff and community members to develop a long-term solution to save the historic Malakoff Diggins,” said SYRCL Executive Director Caleb Dardick.

“We greatly appreciate SYRCL for securing this grant to fund the seasonal staff at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park this summer. Their donation along with matching funds from the California State Parks Department will ensure seasonal staffing to greet park visitors and maintain the park,” said Sierra District Superintendent Marilyn Linkem.

It was nearly two years ago that the State Parks Department put both the Malakoff Diggins and South Yuba River State Parks on the list of 70 parks slated to close July 1, 2012 due to budget cutbacks.  At that time SYRCL rallied the community and presented over 10,000 petition signatures to the Governor and other state officials, which was instrumental in getting the South Yuba River State Park off the closure list. Since then, SYRCL and others have remained vigilant in advocating for Malakoff Diggins as well.  Nearly $50,000 has been raised to date from the Malakoff Diggins Park Association and the Olmsted Park Fund, including the $25,000 SYRCL secured from the California State Parks Foundation, to keep the park open through June 2014.

Keeping Malakoff open beyond June 2014 will require new strategies to bolster revenues and cut operating costs. SYRCL has been advocating for the installation of a comprehensive solar power system at the park, which could save $60,000 to $80,000 per year in diesel fuel and propane costs for generators and benefit the environment as well.

“We are pleased to support SYRCL’s efforts to keep Malakoff Diggins State Park open,” said CSPF President Elizabeth Goldstein. “In addition to their efforts at South Yuba River State Park, we are confident SYRCL, with their creative thinking and innovative approaches, will be able to help State Parks keep Malakoff open as well.”

SYRCL joins over 200 Parks Advocates at the State Capitol in March

In March, SYRCL participated in the California State Parks Foundations 11th Annual Park Advocacy Day in Sacramento. In meetings with a several state legislators, SYRCL’s Executive Director Caleb Dardick advocated for sustainable funding for rural, less frequented state parks such as Malakoff Diggins State Park.

Earlier that month, Dardick presented copies of SYRCL’s new film, “How the Kids Saved the Parks,” to the new State Parks Director Anthony Jackson, Resource Secretary John Laird, and Assemblymember Brian Dahle. The DVD highlights the role area youth played in advocating for parks. The short film was featured at this year’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival, and will be shown at the 16th annual Sonoma International Film Festival this Saturday, April 13.

Contact:

Caleb Dardick, SYRCL Executive Director

(530) 265-5961, ext. 207; caleb@syrcl.org

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