This is from today's Sac Bee. CA's state parks are one of the many great things the state has to offer. They are really some amazing areas. I grew up mountain biking in Crystal Cove State Park. That said, the environmental benefits of high speed rail greatly exceed any potential encroachment on the parks. High speed rail will encourage smart growth and infill development, helping to preserve the state's remaining open space. This project will also improve air quality and limit climate change by providing an alternative to auto travel.
Growth puts pressure on California's state parks
Published: Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010 - 12:00 am
"In the decades ahead, tensions between California parks and other priorities – transportation, green energy, private development – are likely to intensify. Over the next 40 years, the state's population is expected to grow from about 39 million to more than 59 million, according to the Department of Finance.
Parks spokesman Stearns said the department has identified high-speed rail as the No. 1 potential game-changer for parks up and down the state in coming years.
That quandary already is playing out at Los Angeles State Historic Park, where a high-speed rail project proposes to tunnel under the downtown park – possibly closing it for years. Supporters of Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park also are gearing up to fight plans to run the state's long-planned high-speed rail line near the park.
Some blueprints for the ambitious rail project also would have the line cut through San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area and Pacheco State Park, both in Merced County.
"For every project that gets defeated, there's another one coming up behind it," said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation.
"Because fundamentally, California has very bad laws to protect its state parks."