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Thank you for covering our new report, Vision for Excellence for California State Parks. This report is the first project that directly asks Californians what the future of the system should like look.

The challenges to excellence in our state parks are clear, but so are the ways in which progress can be made in addressing and overcoming those challenges.

However, I believe the Feb. 17 editorial missed the mark when it suggested the absence of finding new funding sources listed in the report. In fact, this report has dedicated an entire strategy area focused on that topic. The report suggests solidifying and diversifying funding. Clearly, having the state parks system dependent on the state’s general fund, currently $25 billion in the red, is not an optimal solution.

The defeat of Prop. 21 has not deterred us but has made us more committed and determined to protect, maintain and sustain our state park system. We have fought and will continue to fight to promote and preserve the unparalleled natural, cultural and historic treasures that make up California’s nation-leading state park system. The take away from this report is that Californians want to keep this century old system intact and available for future generations to enjoy. Together, the strategies and recommendations in this report make clear the way forward for a comprehensive, statewide effort for excellence.  

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Ruskin Hartley

San Francisco

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