The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection group with more than 1 million members and supporters in California, has announced its endorsement of Proposition 21. Prop. 21, which will appear on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot, creates a stable and adequate funding source to maintain state parks and beaches, and to promote wildlife conservation and habitat protection.
“As the state’s financial picture has deteriorated, efforts to protect wildlife — on California’s public lands and in our Pacific waters — have been seriously hampered,” said Jennifer Fearing, California senior state director for The HSUS. “Our state parks and wildlife habitats are treasures we can’t afford not to protect. That’s why we urge all our supporters to vote ‘Yes’ on Proposition 21 this November.”
Approval of Prop. 21 will provide California vehicles with free, year-round day-use access to state parks and beaches, in exchange for a new $18 surcharge. This new surcharge will be assessed as part of California’s annual vehicle registration. All California vehicles will be subject to the surcharge, except larger commercial vehicles, mobile homes and permanent trailers.
Funds from the surcharge will be placed in a trust fund dedicated specifically to state parks and wildlife conservation, which cannot legally be used for other purposes. Prop. 21 stipulates that 85 percent of the generated funds be earmarked for parks and 15 percent for wildlife refuges, marine conservation and other specified wildlife conservation needs.
The HSUS joins a wide-ranging coalition of more than 450 organizations supporting Prop. 21, including the California Travel Industry Association, California Teachers Association, California Lodging Industry Association, The Nature Conservancy, California Action for Healthy Kids, Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, National Tour Association and the California State Parks Foundation.
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