Park Problem

Park Problem

Historic Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento
Robert English

Although it’s charged with protecting monuments like historic Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento (pictured), the entire California state park system has been listed as one of 11 endangered sites by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The annual list, which has brought attention to over 200 locations since 1988, names places known for their architectural, historical or cultural significance that are in danger of destruction or damage.

Chronic underfunding currently plagues the parks system with only 40% of annual operating costs covered. Extreme budget cuts, including a $13.3 million slash by Governor Schwarzenegger earlier this year ($11.8 million of which was restored in May) have resulted in over $1.2 million in maintenance deferment, which not only ignores proper care of historic buildings, but also structures like campground facilities, many of which have yet to be modernized. California’s is the largest state park system in the country with 278 parks covering 1.5 million acres and 295 miles of oceanfront.

The 2008 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places (in
alphabetical order):

Boyd Theatre, Philadelphia, Pa.

California’s State Parks

Charity Hospital and the adjacent neighborhood, New Orleans, La.

Great Falls Portage, Great Falls, Mont.

Hangar One, Moffett Field, Santa Clara County, Calif.

The Lower East Side, New York City

Michigan Avenue Streetwall, Chicago, Ill.

Peace Bridge Neighborhood, Buffalo, N.Y.

The Statler Hilton Hotel, Dallas, Tx.

Sumner Elementary School, Topeka, Kan.

Vizcaya and the Bonnet House, Fla.

 

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