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Taxpayers Will Pony Up for Glamping Sites

Wastebook items often come from a feel-good story in the local paper.  It’s usually written up in a warm and fuzzy way about another  government agency providing us with a new goodie.  In this case, we can’t resident pointing out that the California agency planning to dole out more goodies is already in financial trouble.  As they plan for the future, it’s not a return to the core mission of the department.  Instead, the California State Parks spent a lot of money finding new and creative ways to spend more of our money.  New bureaucracy, more spending and the inevitable inefficiencies are never profiled, but the cool stuff is dangled in front of us like a bright shiny object.

It’s a feel-good article about the building of cabins in parks all over California in order to appeal more to comfort-oriented Millennials.   OK, so what’s $20,000 per cabin in relation to a growing debt of billions, even half a trillion dollars.


The “Parks Forward” commission, was tasked with the mission of envisioning the future of state parks.  Googling the source or bureaucracy that launches any innocuous program generally reveals a multi-layered expensive ‘plan.’  

Read the plan that defines ‘a new direction’ for the state’s parks, and you’ll find a plan for Latino and Native American outreach, cures for climate change, obesity and rising health costs… and even an attempt to attract comfort-oriented millennials with new ‘Glamping’ campsites and cabins.    Yes, something for everyone, but a glaring lack of empathetic dance camps catering to uncoordinated white boys.

Despite the fact that we have in recent years actually run out of funds just for the basic maintenance and safety of the parks, this plan caters to every possible protected class, favored industry and special interest with no mention of how we are going to pay for it.  There are references to ‘fostering partnerships’, but it’s important to note that newly-formed non-profit organizations are usually funded by government grants AKA your hard-earned tax dollars.  We have yet to see efforts like this complete their goals of ‘increasing efficiency’, but they do seem to expand their staffs, studies, commissions and budgets in a timely manner.

According to the reporter on this LA Times article, the California Department of Parks and Recreation has been plagued by “scandal, mismanagement and stagnation.”   Therefore, the commission was tasked not only with planning for the future, but what got Goerge Orwell spinning in his grave is one of the goals is rehabilitating the department’s image.  After squandering taxpayer funds, they’re spending more taxpayer funds on creating ways to distract our attention.

When you hear buzz words like ‘new paradigm’, ‘stakeholders’, and ‘partners’ that will recruit, train and increase the park’s workforce so it ‘mirrors California’s demographic make-up within 10 years”,  watch your wallet, this is going to be expensive even before the first bubble-wrapped Millennial-friendly cabin is delivered.

Who’s to Blame?

Contact the California Department of Parks and Recreation and demand that they stick to the basics of safe, clean and affordable parks.

And demand that your media outlets stop rubber-stamping and instead report on the total costs and mission creep for ‘new paradigms’.

For more “Spending Wall of Shame” stories, click on the link at the top of the WastebookUSA  home page