Keep California State Parks Open for All! Leaked Legal Memo and Checklist Inadequate

Posted: September 18th, 2009

Attached is a document purporting to be a leaked legal memorandum by the legal office of the California Department of Parks and Recreation analyzing potential legal liabilities if units of the state park system are closed.  Also attached is a document purporting to be a checklist for state park closures.

The legal memo includes analyses of some of the points raised in our August 3, 2009, Administrative Complaint to keep State Parks Open for All, including, for example, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Program, the requirements to keep public beaches open for all under the California Coastal Act, and the requirements to study the impacts of closing state parks under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The memo fails to analyze other applicable legal requirements raised in our August 3 Administrative Complaint.  The memo fails to analyze, for example, the National Environmental Policy Act; legal protections for Native Americans and Native American Sacred Sites; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its regulations prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, or national origin by recipients of federal funds such as the Department of Parks and Recreation and parallel state laws; and the OMB’s guidance for recipients of federal stimulus funds, including the State of California, to comply with equal protection laws and policies.

The legal memo is available on the web site of the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, http://www.peer.org/docs/ca/09_15_9_%20California_Park_Closures_Legal_Memo.pdf.

Click here to download the purported California State Park Closures Legal Memo and California State Parks Closure Mitigation Checklist.

View the Administrative Complaint to Keep State Parks Open for All!

Allensworth House by you.

Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park commemorating Colonel Allen Allensworth and the only California town to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans risks being shut down.