Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Political Turmoil at CA State Parks - Rangers Ask Gov. to Replace Coleman

Sometimes the irony of an issue requires a comment. Just as thousands of OHV enthusiasts, local and national recreation organizations, government park rangers, and elected officials ask Governor Brown to reappoint Daphne Greene as Deputy Director of the CA OHV Program, a large group of state park law enforcement officials are asking that Ruth Coleman (Director of CA State Parks) be replaced.

SACBEE Article on Replacing Coleman

I know Coleman and have worked with her department on many issues and I too like her on a personal level. However, I believe Coleman’s greatest weakness was her inability to make the non-motorized units of State Parks relevant to Californians in this day and age of decreased budgets and low visitor usage.

Rather then make the non-motorized state park system relevant (which should have included converting several of them to SVRAs), it appeared that Coleman, some non-profit foundations, and the legislature relied on the OHV Trust Fund (and a bogus statewide fee initiative that was rejected by voters) as an easy crutch to prop up a broken department.

Just what the Governor does with the Coleman and Greene appointments will be a signal as to the longevity and/or viability of either program. Will Coleman get support letters coming in from politicians and user groups, as is the case with Greene? (see below examples)

State Senator Joel Anderson Letter in Support of Greene

BRC Letter in Support of Greene

As many OHVers get ready to take a few days off to enjoy the holidays, it appears that some of us will have to monitor events in Sacramento. OHV politics does not respect any holiday season including Christmas.

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