It's fairly evident that most of my news comes from Facebook. I don't read newspapers and I only read blogs about The Mission. I was horrified (and inspired to keep more up-to-date on general California news) when a friend posted this message:
SO AM I STILL GONNA BE ABLE TO FISH IN CHINA CAMP AND OTHER SPOTS ONCE THEY CLOSE THEM DOWN? DOES IT BECOME PRIVATE PROPERTY? AND FUCK PAYING 10 BUCKS TO LOOK AT SOME TREES AND SHIT FOR A HALF HOUR. [link]What's that now? China Camp is closing? I then go to click the link and discover 70(!!) state parks looking at closures in the state of California. Naturally I skim the astonishing list for my favorite parks to make sure they're safe... they're all doomed. All of them. This is outrageous! Though I agree with my friend's statement that he doesn't want to pay $10 to "look at some trees and shit," I do believe it's a better option than losing the parks all together.
[see the list for yourself]
Plumas-Eureka State Park
|my mother and I|
My family and I go camping here every year. Every year. We've hiked to all the lakes in the area, rode horses on the Pacific Crest Trail and met people that have been mauled by bears since their journey from Mexico to Canada. We've watched a friend catch his first fish here. I realized my boyfriend wasn't the person I wanted to be with while here. I crashed a couple parties here. I learned to play several card games here. I learned how to make a grilled cheese over an open flame here. It's another home for me.
Samuel P. Taylor State Park
I live walking distance from this park. Growing up, we took field trips here and I got to spend my first nights without my parents, near my peers. I had my first kiss here. My second birthday. My cousin's first birthday. I learned to ride a bike here. I still ride my bike here.
Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area
|My sister and our god-niece|
The water is perfect! We love this spot. It's a nice mid-point between our family in Arcata and us in San Francisco.
Tomales Bay State Park
I have many friends that live on Tomales Bay. I know all it's quirks, and many of it's treasures. It sits directly atop the San Andreas fault, which lends to some beautiful landscape centered around the gorgeous bay inlet. Ducks, kayakers, and seals alike love this area. I've been meaning to go kayaking here at some point soon.
Devil's Slide (Grey Whale Cove State Beach)
I saw my first ever whale here. I haven't seen a whale in a few years, so I should probably go back here before it's erased from the preservation system.
In the spirit of getting to school on time for my final, I shall quote the calparks.org synopsis of a few more parks:
Fort Humboldt State Historic Park
Located on a bluff overlooking Humboldt Bay, this old military post was established in 1853 to assist in conflict resolution between the Native Americans and gold hungry settlers. Brevet Lt. Colonel Robert C. Buchanan was first assigned to protect settlers on Humboldt Bay. His orders were to establish a post in the vicinity of Uniontown.
Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park
The temple is the oldest continuously used Chinese temple in California. On display are art objects, pictures, mining tools, and weapons used in the 1854 Tong War. This Taoist temple is still a place of worship and a fascinating look into the role played by Chinese immigrants in early California history. The temple was built in 1874 as a replacement for another that had burned. In an effort to preserve this important part of California's Chinese tradition, the temple became a part of the California State Park System in 1956.
China Camp State Park
The park has 1,640 acres of natural watershed along the shores of San Francisco Bay. Features include an extensive intertidal salt marsh, meadow and oak habitats, that are home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, squirrels and numerous birds.
Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve
The reserve was established to preserve the spectacular "tufa towers," calcium-carbonate spires and knobs formed by interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water.
There are plenty more parks in danger of losing their state park status. Parks I don't have personal relationships with, but deserve a fair fight none-the-less. If you're feeling activist-y after all that, join me in fighting for the state parks by filling out this form to email our governor and make him consider reevaluating.
p.s. all these state park closures would put a HUGE damper on Geocaching!