Monday, February 23, 2009

Thanks for helping Save the Cs

On January 25, The General asked you to send in letters of support to the Governor asking him to continue funding the California Conservation Corps. You answered that call!

The off-road community’s support did not go unnoticed by the media (see NYT article below). The General commends his readers for supporting a public lands partner that not only helps build and maintain OHV trails on FS and BLM lands, but performs important work on Wilderness (non-motorized) trails as well.

(Trail I am riding on in the picture to the right is maintained by the Cs)

Here was the Save The Cs’ Website

NYT Article:

Plans to terminate the program have united an eclectic group of advocates, including those who benefit from the corps’ work, like off-road-vehicle enthusiasts, hikers, firefighters and sport fishermen. They are writing to the governor to urge that the program not be eliminated.”

Cutting the Cs just did not make sense at a time when President Obama was planning to include trail projects in the Stimulus Bill and Region 5 was gearing up its Trees and Trails concept.

Here is the Feb 23 Thank You note I got from CCC advocate Paul Carillo
Dear Don,

Last Friday, Governor Schwarzenegger signed an historic budget package to solve California's $42 billion deficit and move California forward from the brink of financial collapse.

I am extremely pleased to report that funding for the CCC is restored by this budget through this fiscal year and next.

In a message to CCC staff and corpsmembers, CCC Director, David Muraki said, "We are thankful that the Governor, in the final analysis, decided to support the CCC during these tough and uncertain times.

Threatened with elimination just 50 days ago and in the midst of the worst budget crisis and worst economic downturn in generations, the CCC stands here today having not just turned around an elimination proposal, but, stronger, more unified, more energized than ever before, and ready to tackle the new challenges before us."

The Save-the-CCC Committee would like to thank Governor Schwarzenegger, Senator Steinberg, Senator Dave Cogdill, Assemblymember Karen Bass and Assemblymember Michael Villines for their recognition for the CCC's value to the state and to the youth it serves by restoring the CCC.

The committee would also like to express it's gratitude to Attorney General Gerry Brown and Former Governors George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, and Gray Davis for taking a historic step in their joint support of our nation's flagship conservation corps program.

We want to acknowledge the CCC Foundation whose quick action and effective press releases were the catalyst for this amazing grass roots effort. The local corps also played an important role in rejecting any proposal that did not benefit all corps.

We especially want to thank -- everyone who sent a letter, fax, signed a petition, made a phone call or legislative visit on behalf of the CCC -- the many environmental and youth service organizations, who signed on to help -- the green jobs advocates and leaders throughout the country who defended the CCC as a standard bearer of the field and what the field is poised to become -- the grassroots leaders and many unsung champions, who started petition sites, organized rallies, and generated waves of community support. It was each of these individual actions that, together, created the groundswell that turned the tide.

Throughout this period of uncertainty for the CCC has continued to focus on its mission as it has since 1976. We wish the CCC continued success for generations to come.

Sincerely Yours,

Paul Carrillo, Chair
and Committee members:
Martha Diepenbrock, Patrick Couch, Bruce Saito, Mel Kreb, Walt Hughes, Lin McNamara, Betty Harris, Joe Griffin, John Griffiths and special thanks to former CCC Director Bud Sheble.

The General again thanks you for taking time to help save one of our trail partners from the budget axe.

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