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Saving Salt Point State Park

I Love State Parks Action Day | August 29, 2009

Richard encourages awareness

© Photo by Debbie Viess

Mushroomers raised a ruckus yesterday at Salt Point State Park as part of the I ♥ State Parks action weekend. On Hwy 1 at the Woodside Campground entrance, our group waved colorful signs, and connected with campers, hikers and park staff. We accomplished our goal of raising awareness, and our “Honk if you love State Parks” signs drew a big response. The weather was delightful: bright sun tempered with a cool breeze.

Most park visitors we spoke with had no idea about the issues – that the parks budget has been severely cut, or even that 100 of 289 parks are slated for closure after Labor Day. Campers exoressed shock at the recent increase in fees: $35 for a campsite for one night, and $8 for day use.

Salt Point Action at Woodside Campground Entrance

© Photo by Debbie Viess

We got signatures on a petition to add to those being collected by the parks foundation. We chatted with park staff, who were very glad to see our efforts and remembered that we had cleaned up trash on the road last fall – very effective mushroom diplomacy. Despite SPSP not being on the short list for closure, one staff member said that Fisk Mill Cove, where SOMA held picnics, may be closed.

We definitely got people talking and thinking about the issue and how it will directly impact them. We’d like to thank everyone who came out.

To learn more about state parks closures, visit the California State Parks Foundation.

A Short Editorial

The initial proposal to hold this rally prompted hundreds of email posts on local group lists. All we wanted was for people who use Salt Point State Park to take action and promote people's awareness. Mushroomers have to get involved at some point in the world around them and do something, rather than talk about doing nothing, which is what most of those messages counseled.

Short memories obscure the fact that until just recently, there were 5-7 rangers at Salt Point. Now there are less than two full time rangers — interpretive programs have been slashed. If we don't help shape policy in the state about access to parks, rules about collecting (and eating) mushrooms, then others will make those rules for us.

David Rust