California State Parks Director General Tony Jackson (USMC-Ret) was in attendance at the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission meeting in Redding, CA on Feb. 22-23, 2013. His presence and comments were a welcome display of commitment to enhance the recreation component of California Department of Parks and Recreation.
The State Parks program has a rich history of serving the public and provides a wide variety of recreation opportunity while showcasing history and preserving important ecological areas for future generations.
It is regrettable that the State Parks program has been mired in scandal and controversy. The release of the Little Hover Commission report outlines a path to move forward, learning from the mistakes of the past and building for the future.
Under the State Parks umbrella, the OHMVR Program has been a successful model of a user-funded program providing for recreation opportunity. From county parks to State Vehicle Recreation areas, to federal public lands, there are a variety of OHV opportunities that attract visitors from around the nation. The OHV program is an important component of the Department of Parks and Recreation, generating thousands of jobs and millions in economic input to communities.
The General commented stating, “...you cannot lead when you are sitting behind a desk” is important as it sets the tone for moving towards the future. Leadership and collaboration are key tenets in the move to the future and securing responsible recreation on public lands.
To General Jackson, thank-you for attending the tour of BLM's Chappie-Shasta OHV Area on March 22 and the formal public hearing on March 23. The Chappie-Shasta OHV Area is a model for motorized and non-motorized recreation and preservation co-existing in a cooperative management program.
OHV stakeholders share a common vision of restoring transparency and integrity to the California Department of Parks and Recreation and look forward to working with you in the coming months to enhance recreation within the state.