Yesterday, the Little Hoover Commission released a report on state parks titled “Beyond Crisis: Recapturing Excellence in California’s State Park System.” We at CSPF have been reading the report with great interest, and we think you should be interested, too.
But first … a little background on the Little Hoover Commission. It’s a 13-member independent state oversight agency appointed by the governor and Legislature. The commission investigates state government operations and writes reports and recommendations that promote efficiency, economy and improved service.
About a year ago, the commission began to look at the long-term vision of California state parks and the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). This was a lengthy process which included many hearings and interviews. CSPF staff testified several times before the commission.
- Develop a new vision for DPR.
- Assess which parks should remain state parks and which ones would be better transferred to local control.
- Enable state parks to generate more revenue with a more enterprise-based operating model.
- Commit General Fund support to DPR with flexibility for revenue generation and more transparent financial reporting.
- Develop incentives and performance measures reported in annual performance reports.
- Give DPR more flexibility to hire and promote a range of skilled employees.
CSPF agrees with the commission’s top-level recommendations for the future direction of California’s state parks. We find the call for a new vision for parks very consistent with our 2011 report: “A Vision for Excellence for California State Parks.” It was also consistent with the testimony that CSPF gave before the commission.
We are excited to see what comes next for state parks, and we at CSPF plan to continue to be there to represent as your voice for state parks. What do you think about the report? Let us know in the comments.
Here’s to a positive future for our parks!