Jump to content

Recommended Posts

To bring this thread back on track...

A new wrinkle in the governator's plan to close the state parks - the NPS is trying to stop him and will take possession of the parks if he does.

From: MercuryNews.com

Feds may take possession of some California parks, if they close

By Paul Rogers

Mercury News

Posted: 06/30/2009 06:35:41 PM PDT

Updated: 07/01/2009 10:14:16 AM PDT

The federal government is threatening to take possession of several of California's most prominent state parks — including Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, the top of Mount Diablo and four miles of beaches at Fort Ord Dunes near Monterey — if Sacramento lawmakers close them to balance the budget.

That's the message from the National Park Service, which also has told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that California will be blocked from receiving future money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the leading federal source of funding for parks, if it closes state parks now.

The warnings came in a letter dated June 8 and obtained Tuesday by the Mercury News from Jon Jarvis, the Pacific regional director of the National Park Service, to Schwarzenegger.

In May, the governor proposed closing 220 state parks to save an estimated $143 million. The state is facing is $24 billion deficit.

With the warnings, the National Park Service has now waded into Sacramento's budget stalemate, arguing that California has more to lose if it closes state parks than it will gain in savings.

"We understand there is an economic crisis and cuts will be made in things. We are not unrealistic," said David Siegenthaler, a National Park Service manager who helped draft the letter.

"But we think there must be ways to keep these parks open, even if it means with reduced hours and services. That's better than closing them."

Schwarzenegger his week said he will veto a budget plan passed by the Assembly that would impose a new $15 annual surcharge on vehicle registration to keep the parks open and allow all California residents free entry. The charge would raise $363 million a year, supporters said, more than twice the amount needed to save parks.

However, the governor considers the $15 a tax.

"The governor has been very clear that he will not support additional tax increases," said Lisa Page, a Schwarzenegger spokeswoman.

Of the warnings from the National Park Service, she added: "The governor understands there are consequences to these difficult cuts, but with a $24 billion deficit, there are no good options."

National park leaders contend that California would be violating the terms of two laws if it closes state parks.

First, the state has received $286 million since 1965 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. Created by President Lyndon Johnson, the fund collects royalties from offshore oil drilling and uses them to buy land for national parks, forests and wildlife refuges. The fund also issues grants to state and local parks to pay for everything from land acquisition to new trails, visitor centers and restrooms.

Parks that receive the funds are required to remain open to the public. California has received Land and Water Conservation Fund money for 69 of the 220 state parks that Schwarzenegger has proposed to close.

State parks that have received the federal funding include Henry Coe, Fremont Peak, Big Basin Redwoods, Castle Rock, Año Nuevo, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake, Andrew Molera, Humboldt Redwoods, Point Lobos, Hearst San Simeon State Park, Anza-Borrego Desert, Sutter's Fort and Mount Tamalpais.

Federal law does not allow the government to demand repayment from California if the parks are closed, but it can shut the state off from future funding, Siegenthaler said.

The second law California would be violating, he said, is a 1949 statute that created the Federal Lands to Parks Program. That law allows surplus government property, such as old military bases, to be transferred to state parks.

But it also requires the parks remain open to the public in perpetuity. California has had six state parks that were former federal property transferred under the law.

If the governor closes the parks, the feds can take the lands back, Jarvis warned. What happens then is unclear. They would likely be transferred as surplus property to the federal government and be offered to federal agencies, universities, even private developers.

The parks are: Angel Island, a former immigration station in San Francisco Bay; a beach and parking lot at Point Mugu State Park near Malibu; the summit of Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County, which was once a naval microwave relay station; four miles of sandy state beaches at the former Fort Ord near Monterey; Point Sur in Big Sur; and Border Fields, a 418-acre state beach on the San Diego-Tijuana border.

Parks advocates said they are heartened that the federal government is stepping into the debate.

"This is a heads-up that the closure of parks isn't so easy. It's a shot across the bow that there are serious complications here, as if the public outcry were not enough," said Elizabeth Goldstein, executive director of the California State Parks Foundation.

Goldstein's group has been studying whether to launch a campaign to put the $15 vehicle license fee on the November 2010 ballot. It would require two-thirds approval if placed on by the initiative process and a simple majority if the Legislature puts it on.

Anza Borrego Desert National Park???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The real communism is the useless "conflict" in the middle east that has cost us trillions over the last eight years just to keep people employed. Define overpaid? Take people out of the public sector and see what they could fetch in the private sector. My guess is half on average. There are many overpaid public employees in this State that are part of the problem too. The fact that you may not be one of them does not represent the big picture. How many private sector people have pensions like the public employees? Few companies match 401ks in private sector any more. A lawyer I play tennis with told me this weekend he is hiring lawyers with degrees from USC for $15/hour. USC is a top national university. Education my *^%#. I will raise my children to be mediocre in school, join the U.S. Communist Party (i.e. federal gov't), laugh their way to the bank, and ride around the desert at age 45 while they are "retired" and collecting a government pension. That is assuming there has not been a revolution to stop this madness by that time.

So the wars are just to keep young men employed? And they are over paid? I guess I'll tell that to the young marine I'll see this weekend. At least I think he is young. I can't tell because of all the scar tissue that covers his body. It seems that while he was out being overpaid a bomb went off and burnt him over most of his body. Or I could tell his buddy. I bet he would love to ride around the desert on a bike. But that is hard to do when you have two poles where your legs use to be. But yeah those to guys are retired and getting government pensions. Although I bet you are the only one on this board who would grudge them that.

I work for a private company and they match my 401K. I do better then $15 and hour as well. Young people should look at the market before they choose a career. There is this thing called supply and demand. When there is an over-supply of something with a low demand then the price will be low. One thing that California has a lot of is Lawyers; did your tennis partner mention that? Maybe those graduates should have looked at the market and became engineers or something useful.

As to your children's educations; I think that right now you should be more concerned with your own education. You need to go out and learn some things. Things like history, current events, political science and economics. Become informed before you put your foot in your mouth.

Everyone has individual stories of tragedy or trauma. I look at the big picture. Is it possible your friends may not be injured if they weren't over there fighting in the first place? The danger comes with the territory and they get hazard pay. It is already built-in. But when does it stop? Why not pay cops, firefighters, and military $300,000 a year? Would you consider them overpaid then? Are you in the 20% of the population that supports the war in the middle east?

I don't need to restate my position because it was clear in the beginning. And while I need more education about the disparity in public v. private salaries, the more data that comes in, the more amazed I am. You and others may not have a problem with cops, firefighters, military, etc. making as much or more than those with professional or advanced degrees, but I think it is weird. You may not have a problem with cops and firefighters making six figures. I do. You may not have a problem with our gov't wasting trillions on wars, conflicts, $140 million dollar aircrafts, but I do. I'm a taxpayer and by virtue of that fact, I'm entitled to my opinions. When a "Sergeant" in my home town makes $143k, compared to the elected DA who earns $135k, something is upside down. Prison guards making $109k is upside down. You should probably learn some things too before you put your foot in your mouth.

As for history, we fought Communism in Vietnam and during the Cold War. The part I struggle with is distinguishing the difference between socialism (what we are becoming) and communism (what we fought). Maybe you could enlighten me. I'm not down on all gov't employees. My big focus is on cutting military spending. I'd rather see those guys back here working as X-ray technicians. I think the post office and DMV are models of efficiency. The DMV needs more support and compensation. Same thing for certain LE positions. We should cut back on victimless crimes and ramp up against fraud crimes. Same thing for parks. State budgets are tight; my real concern is the federal budget and MIC (military industrial complex).

I was on vacation when all this was posted, so I hope it's not too late to add my .02. As a 2nd year apprentice, I was in an electrical theory class taught by a senior engineer, and another apprentice and I were comparing earnings for the year, I believe mine was around 85k. The instructor overheard this, and ws outraged, after all he went to 4 years of college and had several years of working for the company before he made it to where he was at, and a 2nd year apprentice was making more than him. The next class I brought him the form he needed to fill out to become a line assistant, and his reply was " you couldn't pay me enough to do that kind of work", and almost immediately realized his error. I think the upside down part of the equation is the sense of entitlement some people with degrees have about how much money they should be making compared to the blue collar people doing the work. And it has NOTHING to do with unions and all that BS. During a contract negotiation, my union and the company came to an agreement on wages for the next 3 years, but 6 months into it, Linemen were leaving faster than they could hire new ones so the company approached the union and asked if it would be OK to give us a larger raise than was negotiated. It really boils down to simple supply and demand, whatever government agency that wants to hire Policemen or Firemen needs to pay enough to get qualified people to apply for that job. If the City of San Diego only pays it's Policemen $10/hr and the City of Escondido is paying $20/hr, where do you think the people will apply? Do you really want the guy that is willing to settle for $10/hr responding to a burglary at your house? On a different note, did the DA know the salary he would be making before he chose to run for that office? Was there a reason he couldn't get into the Police academy to become a "Seargent" also? I am pretty sure he chose his own path, and decided that working out of an air conditioned office was worth the $6K

a year to not have to wear a bullet proof vest to work. I think we are going to see more of this also, with the big push for everyone to go to college, nobody is going to want to sweat and get dirty for a living, so skilled labor wages are going to have to exceed the office jobs in order to entice people to take those jobs. I have a lot more to say, but this is already getting long

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got 2 more questions, what was this thread about, and Trophy, what is with the .'s?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

his thread is about tangents, and . Is for a "deleted" post, prolly cuz he realized he was answering a tangent... But I amjust guessing.

The thread started out about closing state parks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
his thread is about tangents, and . Is for a "deleted" post, prolly cuz he realized he was answering a tangent... But I amjust guessing.

The thread started out about closing state parks

Oh yeah, now I remember. Arnie's gonna shut them down, the Fed is gonna take them over, and Ranger Dan's gonna make them OHV parks. Sounds good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
his thread is about tangents, and . Is for a "deleted" post, prolly cuz he realized he was answering a tangent... But I amjust guessing.

The thread started out about closing state parks

Oh yeah, now I remember. Arnie's gonna shut them down, the Fed is gonna take them over, and Ranger Dan's gonna make them OHV parks. Sounds good.

if youd stop taking vacations, you couldve saved us 5 pages... Thanks for the Clif Notes... Threadkiller

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
his thread is about tangents, and . Is for a "deleted" post, prolly cuz he realized he was answering a tangent... But I amjust guessing.

Good guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To bring this thread back on track...

A new wrinkle in the governator's plan to close the state parks - the NPS is trying to stop him and will take possession of the parks if he does.

From: MercuryNews.com

Feds may take possession of some California parks, if they close

By Paul Rogers

Mercury News

Posted: 06/30/2009 06:35:41 PM PDT

Updated: 07/01/2009 10:14:16 AM PDT

The federal government is threatening to take possession of several of California's most prominent state parks — including Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, the top of Mount Diablo and four miles of beaches at Fort Ord Dunes near Monterey — if Sacramento lawmakers close them to balance the budget.

That's the message from the National Park Service, which also has told Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that California will be blocked from receiving future money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the leading federal source of funding for parks, if it closes state parks now.

The warnings came in a letter dated June 8 and obtained Tuesday by the Mercury News from Jon Jarvis, the Pacific regional director of the National Park Service, to Schwarzenegger.

In May, the governor proposed closing 220 state parks to save an estimated $143 million. The state is facing is $24 billion deficit.

With the warnings, the National Park Service has now waded into Sacramento's budget stalemate, arguing that California has more to lose if it closes state parks than it will gain in savings.

"We understand there is an economic crisis and cuts will be made in things. We are not unrealistic," said David Siegenthaler, a National Park Service manager who helped draft the letter.

"But we think there must be ways to keep these parks open, even if it means with reduced hours and services. That's better than closing them."

Schwarzenegger his week said he will veto a budget plan passed by the Assembly that would impose a new $15 annual surcharge on vehicle registration to keep the parks open and allow all California residents free entry. The charge would raise $363 million a year, supporters said, more than twice the amount needed to save parks.

However, the governor considers the $15 a tax.

"The governor has been very clear that he will not support additional tax increases," said Lisa Page, a Schwarzenegger spokeswoman.

Of the warnings from the National Park Service, she added: "The governor understands there are consequences to these difficult cuts, but with a $24 billion deficit, there are no good options."

National park leaders contend that California would be violating the terms of two laws if it closes state parks.

First, the state has received $286 million since 1965 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. Created by President Lyndon Johnson, the fund collects royalties from offshore oil drilling and uses them to buy land for national parks, forests and wildlife refuges. The fund also issues grants to state and local parks to pay for everything from land acquisition to new trails, visitor centers and restrooms.

Parks that receive the funds are required to remain open to the public. California has received Land and Water Conservation Fund money for 69 of the 220 state parks that Schwarzenegger has proposed to close.

State parks that have received the federal funding include Henry Coe, Fremont Peak, Big Basin Redwoods, Castle Rock, Año Nuevo, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake, Andrew Molera, Humboldt Redwoods, Point Lobos, Hearst San Simeon State Park, Anza-Borrego Desert, Sutter's Fort and Mount Tamalpais.

Federal law does not allow the government to demand repayment from California if the parks are closed, but it can shut the state off from future funding, Siegenthaler said.

The second law California would be violating, he said, is a 1949 statute that created the Federal Lands to Parks Program. That law allows surplus government property, such as old military bases, to be transferred to state parks.

But it also requires the parks remain open to the public in perpetuity. California has had six state parks that were former federal property transferred under the law.

If the governor closes the parks, the feds can take the lands back, Jarvis warned. What happens then is unclear. They would likely be transferred as surplus property to the federal government and be offered to federal agencies, universities, even private developers.

The parks are: Angel Island, a former immigration station in San Francisco Bay; a beach and parking lot at Point Mugu State Park near Malibu; the summit of Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County, which was once a naval microwave relay station; four miles of sandy state beaches at the former Fort Ord near Monterey; Point Sur in Big Sur; and Border Fields, a 418-acre state beach on the San Diego-Tijuana border.

Parks advocates said they are heartened that the federal government is stepping into the debate.

"This is a heads-up that the closure of parks isn't so easy. It's a shot across the bow that there are serious complications here, as if the public outcry were not enough," said Elizabeth Goldstein, executive director of the California State Parks Foundation.

Goldstein's group has been studying whether to launch a campaign to put the $15 vehicle license fee on the November 2010 ballot. It would require two-thirds approval if placed on by the initiative process and a simple majority if the Legislature puts it on.

Anza Borrego Desert National Park???

More likely other State and local park agencies would step in to help on either a temporary or permanent basis. My agency has already offered to take over operations of several State Parks if the worst does happen.

National Parks can not just "add" parks on their own authority...that literally takes an act of Congress or a Presidential executive order. They might step in to provide "assistance", but there is no legal way for them to assume ownership or management oversight of State Parks. They could ask for the Federal funding back...to which we could say "we will just deduct that amount from the underfunding of other Federal mandates within the State of California"...that would get some political emotions going!

Seriously folks, the parks are not going away. Some may be closed temporary, but most likely it will be a matter of cutting maintenance and operational budgets even further.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×