by Past President Jill Dampier
Why is CSPRA an organization worth supporting? This is the question I asked when I first heard about the California State Park Ranger Association.
I was a member of an employee association and union already. Why should I give my hard earned money to a professional association that does not deal with labor relations? After working for California State Parks for a few years, I was able to answer my own question.
I became a member of CSPRA because it is the only organization composed of past and present employees and benefactors who identify and respond to issues affecting the health of the California State Parks. This includes advancing the highest principles of public service, and supporting, protecting and defending the integrity of the state park system for present and future generations.
As employees of the California State Parks, we are responsible for making sure our "company" is viable well into the next generation. CSPRA is the vehicle in which we can move to insure that California State Parks continues to be regarded as one of the best park systems in the United States.
How does CSPRA accomplish this mission?
First, it promotes professional training through its yearly conference and through training scholarships available to members. CSPRA understands and promotes tr
aining as a means of sharpening ones knowledge and abilities, providing motivation and inspiration and to provide a medium of exchange of professional thought and networking.
Secondly, CSPRA is committed to tracking legislative issues affecting our parks and to fighting for what is best for the parks. There are many issues that our department's legislative office is not able to fight for or against due to political reasons. CSPRA can and will if the issue involves the well being and the future of California's State Parks.
The intrinsic value of parks to the quality of life has been muffled over the years by increasing demands for schools, water, pollution controls, etc. Therefore, CSPRA re-educates our Legislators about the tangible and intangible benefits our parks have on the state as well as to its thousands of visitors.
Our department benefits from the work CSPRA does in the Legislature that ultimately helps you and me. CSPRA has also been, is, and will be an association of park professionals. From Office Assistants to Park Maintenance Workers to Rangers to District Superintendents, all employees of this department are park professionals.
As employees of California State Parks, we share a common interest in providing high quality service to our constituents. Job titles may differ, but we all share common bond and are proud to be employees of California State Parks. This is why our department is so unique and why it is so important to work together to preserve the honor of our parks and profession. In 1891, our legislature started to set aside some of California's prime real estate to be state parks.
They foresaw the need for preserving representative samples of California's diverse cultural and natural history so that the citizens of California and the world could learn about their heritage and about the earth on which we depend. As park professionals it is our duty to perpetuate our forefathers' vision.
We are responsible for advancing the highest principles of public service and to support, protect, and defend the integrity of the state park system for present and future generations.
Join CSPRA to preserve our outstanding park system for generations to come.
Hearst Castle Pool, Rich Lawton