California Budget Crisis Derails Open Space Acquisition

With a budget proposal that threatens to close 80 percent of California state parks on the table, Joe Edmiston, executive director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, explains how the state's budget crisis left the SMMC "dead in the water."

The article features an interview with Joe Edmiston, executive director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, who talks about California's broken legislative process and the effect of recent bond freezes on the SMMC's agenda, which means missed opportunities for open space preservation during the current buyer's market:

"While, we are not literally out of business; we definitely are out of money, and the state is out of money. If state funds were flowing, we would be able to take advantage of some pretty fantastic opportunities. Landowners are saying that it makes a lot of sense to sell to the state for conservation purposes."

"There have been games of chicken played between the Legislature and the governor forever, but no one ever saw a political advantage to running the state into the ground. Unfortunately, now there are those who see that advantage."

"You can't take a snapshot of California at one of its worse times and project that forward. We are going to have resurgence in the building industry. We will have population growth. Those fundamental needs are out there."

Thanks to James Brasuell

Full Story: Edmiston: State Budget Crisis Constrains SMMC’s Plans

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