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Dig Deeper on Parks




The feature article coverage of the state parks closure issue ("A Place in the Woods," May 3) was appreciated. The time is certainly ripe for elected officials, Gov. Brown, and big money funding sources to pull a rabbit out of the hat to avoid these disastrous closures. We hope that your weekly continues to dig into this topic, because there are many relevant facts that your reading public would appreciate having brought to light.

The history of Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, as recounted in the article, missed an important element for understanding the dark politics of state park closures. The feature article failed to explore how the $500 million dollar Headwaters deal included upwards of $30 million for purchase of PALCO lands adjacent to Grizzly Creek in order to expand the park from its tiny 360 acres to a total of approximately 3,500 acres. Apparently, this major lands acquisition initiative has now been relegated to permanent limbo, with the purchased lands in state possession, but no hint whatsoever as to their conservation destiny. Certainly, the issues of timber theft, vandalism, inappropriate off-road vehicle use, and other conservation threats apply to those lands as much as they do to the globally important park. It is tremendous that Humboldt County may be able to steward Grizzly Creek past this closure challenge. Nevertheless, as executive director of the Environmental Protection Information Center, I certainly hope that the promise and investment of the Headwaters deal is not ignored, and that the North Coast Journal will dig under the surface on these critical issues.

Gary Graham Hughes, Arcata

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