Support Senate Bill 5!
Senate Bill 5 (SB-5), a $4 billion parks and water bond was approved by the Assembly and Senate on Sept. 16 and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 15, overcoming the final obstacles standing before its placement on the June 2018 ballot.
These victories will ensure California voters can choose whether to invest in restoring the crumbling infrastructure of the California state park system, protecting forests, coasts and wildlife, and responding to the threats of climate change.
Sempervirens Fund strongly supports the bond, which was authored by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), because it includes more than $200 million to restore and preserve California state parks and over $700 million for local and regional parks, as well as critically-needed funding to protect our coast, wildlife and drinking water.
Insufficient and unpredictable annual operating funds have left the state parks system with more than $1 billion in deferred maintenance needs making it nearly impossible for the agency to adequately steward the natural, cultural and historic resources in its care. For too many California communities, access to state, regional or local parks is only a dream. This bond attempts to remedy both of those challenges.
“Californians from all walks of life love, and need, parks. After 15 years of neglect, it is time to again infuse some funding into our parks to ensure they are safe, accessible to all and able to properly manage the incredible resources we entrust to their care” said Sempervirens Fund Executive Director Sara Barth.
What is SB-5?
Fifteen years have passed since California voters approved the last substantive park bond. Today, the state park infrastructure is aging and time is running out to make the critical repairs necessary to ensure access and preserve and protect our natural, cultural and historical resources. Decreased and unpredictable annual operating funding has left the state parks system with a more than $1 billion backlog in deferred maintenance needs.
Senate Bill (SB) 5 (de León) places a park bond before voters in June 2018. SB-5 includes roughly $218 million for state park purposes.
How will this help the Santa Cruz Mountains?
The Santa Cruz Mountains are an ecologically diverse ecosystem. They are not only enjoyed by huge numbers of Californians, but attract visitors and tourism dollars from around the world. An infusion of park bond funds into the California Coastal Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Board and California State Parks will provide direct benefits to this ecologically significant and economically important landscape.
Sempervirens Fund has recommended that $50 million of State Park funding be made available for “Enterprise Projects” – innovative projects that demonstrate and advance the State Park System’s transformation into a 21st century model of management and stewardship. By enhancing the visitor experience, employing green design and relying on public-private partnerships to leverage public funds, these Enterprise Projects will help the agency demonstrate what the future of state parks can be and in so doing, will attract greater investment from private interests like Sempervirens Fund.
The California coast includes not only our beaches, bays and wetlands, but also upland coastal forests that are the bedrock of our coastal watersheds. An investment of $30 million be provided to the California Coastal Conservancy for preserving, restoring and acquiring coastal forests. Intact, protected coastal forests sustain the headwaters of the rivers and streams that flow directly to our coast. Without healthy upland forests, there can be no healthy coastline.
In addition, funding will be set aside to support the acquisition, restoration and protection of redwood forests to maximize carbon sequestration and build climate resiliency while also improving air and water quality and providing vital habitat.
How can I help?
Get the word out:
Share this page far and wide. We want to ensure that California voters have the opportunity to make an informed decision about the future of their State Parks.
Donate to Sempervirens Fund:
Sempervirens Fund needs its partners at California State Parks to be sufficiently funded in order to better fulfill its own mission. As a result, we have taken a lead position in support of SB-5 and will be actively promoting voter support of this important bill between now and June 2018. Help us make this vital bond a reality.