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California State Park Initiative: Prop 21

Oct 11, 2010 by Lisa Newton

Travelin’ Local typically avoids political topics, but the California State Park Initiative, aka Prop 21, needs attention because it affects our leisure activities and lifestyles.

It’s a new initiative–called the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund– which will provide a stable, reliable and adequate source of funding for the State of California’s 278 state parks.

It will be funded by raising the fee for every California motor vehicle–including motorcycles and recreational vehicles–by an $18.00 tax.

The difference with this tax is that Prop. 21 will give California vehicles (meaning us), a total free day-use admission to all state parks in exchange for the new $18 vehicle license fee.

Currently, if you go to a state park, most of them charge a day-use or parking fee ranging between $5.00 – over $10.00. So, it’s a trade-off. Instead of paying on a daily basis, Prop 21, in essence, provides everyone with an annual state parks pass.

Due to the California’s budget cuts, many state parks decreased their hours of operation, and some few increased their fees. $1.50 per month for free access and increased funding opportunities for these local state parks is a deal too good to be true:

  • Antelope Valley California Poppy State Natural Reserve
  • Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park
  • Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park
  • Castaic Lake State Recreation Area
  • Dockweiler State Beach
  • Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area
  • Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
  • Leo Carrillo State Park
  • Los Angeles State Historic Park
  • Los Encinos State Historic Park
  • Malibu Creek State Park
  • Malibu Lagoon State Beach
  • Pio Pico State Historic Park
  • Placerita Canyon State
  • Point Dume State Beach
  • Rio de Los Angeles State Park Recreation Area
  • Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach
  • Saddleback Butte State Park
  • Santa Monica State Beach
  • Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park
  • Topanga State Park
  • Verdugo Mountains State Park
  • Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park
  • Will Rogers State Beach
  • Will Rogers State Historic Park

These are just the Los Angeles County State parks–there are many more across the entire State, to be sure.

Another point to consider about Prop 21, is that if the annual pass is approved, people are more likely to visit the State parks–which will increase revenues for the surrounding areas, which in turn, helps to stimulate the local economies;

Another win/win scenario.

Therefore, when November 2nd is upon us, Vote Yes for Prop 21.

It’s good for you, everybody else, the State Parks, and California.

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