Jack London State Historic Park becomes first park saved under new law, AB 42
Today, California State Parks approved the Valley of the Moon Natural History Association’s bid to run Jack London State Historic Park near Glen Ellen in Sonoma County. Congratulations to Greg Hayes, Elisa Stancil and their colleagues for working hard to keep this treasure alive.
The ultimate word is I LIKE … The thing I like most of all is personal achievement … The more difficult the feat, the greater the satisfaction of its accomplishment. ~ Jack London
The agreement today represents the first one made possible by Assembly Bill 42, authored by Assembly Member Jared Huffman. The law authorizes California State Parks to enter into operating agreements directly with up to 20 nonprofits to save parks from closure.
Nonprofits and other entities have rescued at least 14 parks around the state that were slated for closure by the California Department of Parks and Recreation by July 1, 2012. Before today, all of the other deals involved one of the following arrangements:
- Public agency takeover (Examples: National Park Service and Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District).
- Nonprofit “donor agreements” to keep state park staff in place (Examples: Jug Handle, Plumas-Eureka and Henry Coe).
- Nonprofit concessionaire agreements to gather parking revenues to keep state park staff in place (Examples: Mono Lake and South Yuba).
The Valley of the Moon Natural History Association is a 501(c)3 tax exempt nonprofit founded in 1977. Since then, a group of ardent volunteers have supported educational and interpretive programs for three Valley of the Moon (Sonoma Valley) state parks including: Jack London State Historic Park, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and Annadel State Park.
According to the California State Parks press release, the agreement and proposed operating plan covers a five-year period with a one-year extension. It calls for the park to be open at least 36 hours per week with the Association responsible for daily maintenance, visitor services, volunteer staffing, protection of natural and historic resources and interpretation.
The association will begin operating the park on May 1st. You can make a donation here.
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