CSPRA Honorary California State Park Ranger - 2012
Bobby Shriver

Bobby Shriver, Santa Monica City Councilmember, has been selected as Honorary California State Park Ranger for 2012 by the California State Park Rangers Association.

His accomplishments are many but key factors leading to his selection as Honorary Ranger include his work below and can also be found in his personal biography and find him creating urban parks, cleaning up our beaches and ocean, and preventing harmful development in State Parks

In 2001 Governor Gray Davis appointed Bobby Shriver to the State Park and Recreation Commission, which advises state policymakers on the best ways to use and protect state parkland. As elected commission chair Shriver helped create new urban parks such as Los Angeles State Historic Park (the former “Cornfield”) and Rio de Los Angeles State Park.

Shriver also worked to prevent development in established state parks. Starting in 2005, Shriver and the entire parks commission joined the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmentalists to oppose the construction of an $875 million, sixteen-mile, six-lane toll road through San Onofre State Park in north San Diego County. In 2006 the commission held the largest public hearing in its history; almost all 2,000 attendees opposed the road.

The entire commission then joined the state attorney general in a lawsuit to stop the road. The opposition reached a new high at a February 2008 Coastal Commission meeting, where a crowd of 3,500 witnessed the Coastal Commission rule that the project violated laws protecting California’s coast.

Many attended with their surfboards, to protest the potential destruction of the worldclass surf breaks at Trestles Beach and marine sanctuary. Shriver led the opposition at the hearing, and commission vice-chairman Clint Eastwood made a video showing the natural resources the road would destroy.

Six weeks later, Shriver and Eastwood’s terms were up, and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a supporter of the road, denied their requests to be reappointed. Editorials in newspapers up and down the state agreed, the two were “wrongfully terminated” for disagreeing with the governor. The Coastal Commission’s decision has been appealed to the U.S. Department of Commerce. A July 2008 hearing was canceled because the venue selected could not hold the 10,000 people expected to attend. Shriver remains in the fight as a private citizen.

His message to Gov. Schwarzenegger, his brother-inlaw: “I’ll be back. I’m already back.”

In August 2008 Shriver testified before the California Senate Natural Resources and Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife committees, urging them to add the word permanent to the State Parks statute: “We must hand some lands in California on to our kids. And the only way to do that is to designate land as a state park and to make that designation permanent. There is no other way. All the zoning, all the public hearings, all the process will eventually lose to all the money.”

Shriver worked with Heal the Bay to pass a $63.5 million parcel tax that will clean storm-water flowing into Santa Monica Bay. He has also voted to acquire land in Santa Monica for new urban parks.

Photo by by Mark Edward Harris