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Despite Budget & Service Cuts, State Parks Has an Extra $60 Million, Say Advocates

A road runs through the Inspiration Point area of Anza-Borrego State Park | Photo by Lars Dugaiczyk via Flickr
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In a figurative spanking, an internal state legal opinion in early October said that state parks employees were sheltering $60 million purely for projects that benefited dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles. The money comes from a fuel tax that is earmarked for off-highway vehicular recreation, but environmental advocates say this money can also go towards unpaved road maintenance throughout the entire state park system, according to a California Legislative Counsel opinion.

“The lion’s share of fuel tax revenues that make up the [Off Highway Vehicle] Trust Fund come from people driving on dirt roads to access hiking, fishing or camping and these people should be able to benefit from their own tax contributions,” said Karen Schambach, the state field director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “The language of the statute on this issue is crystal clear.”