Are You Kidding Me? Arnold Honored for “Protecting” the State Parks

I can’t wait for my award from the Chamber of Commerce for all of my hard work, or perhaps from the Yes on Prop 8 Krew.  Because, clearly today is bizarro day if this report from the Capitol Weekly is true (and I have no doubt that it is):

The National Park Trust said it planned to honor Schwarzenegger on Oct. 29 with its 2009 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award “for his leadership and innovation in the protection of public lands in California and for his life-long commitment to children’s health and to connecting them with the outdoors.”

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“When Schwarzenegger pulled the plug, instead of parks being completely closed, there were a lot of partial closures,” said Elizabeth Goldstein of the State Parks Foundation. “Half the restrooms in the state closed, and camps and trails. There were very severe cutbacks in services. We think this is going to affect the public a lot. Obviously, they won’t find completely closed gates 365 days a year, but the parks are far less maintained, and health and safety issues are getting taken care of less quickly.” (CapWeekly 10/20/09)

This is insane.  As Elizabeth Goldstein points out, he protected parks only insofar as he had to. If the governor would have really protected the parks, he wouldn’t have slashed additional funding with his blue pencil, and he wouldn’t have left the closure list hanging over the heads of the system for three months.

I have a lot of respect for the National Park Trust, but it’s like they just sent out invitations for awards to whatever megastar celebrity governor that they could get, and ended up with Arnold.  

With “protectors” like this, who needs enemies?

4 thoughts on “Are You Kidding Me? Arnold Honored for “Protecting” the State Parks”

  1. …irony and satire are truly dead if they’re giving Arnold this award. What a joke.

  2. Not sure which it is, but Arnold sure doesn’t deserve an award from a parks organization.

    Just what is the National Park Trust, anyway?  The Chair of the NPT Board of Directors is a lawyer who specializes in helping companies avoid environmental regulations.  Most of the people on the Board of Directors seem to be lawyers or in finance.  Shouldn’t there mostly be people with parks experience?  I bet there are better parks organizations to donate to than the NPT.

  3. Brian

    Thanks for digging this news up. Unbelievable!

    Of course, the corporate environmentalists praise Schwarzenegger all of the time for his administration’s “leadership” on green energy scams, MLPA corporate greenwashing and his plans to build an “eco-friendly” peripheral canal.

    However, this awarding of Schwarzenegger with the “Public Service Award” by the National Park Trust reaches a low in groveling before corrupt politicians only equalled with the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to war criminal Henry Kissinger!

    Here’s the press release from the National Park Trust.

    Dan Bacher

    California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to Accept National Park Trust’s Highest Honor, the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award in Washington D.C. on October 29

    Governor to Explain Plan to Keep California State Parks Open

    Washington D.C. (September 28, 2009) – National Park Trust (NPT) will honor California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with the 2009 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award on October 29, 2009 for his leadership and innovation in the protection of public lands in California and for his life-long commitment to children’s health and to connecting them with the outdoors.

    California’s unprecedented budget crisis forced the postponement of the event this past June and threatened to close up to a third of California State Parks; however, the Governor announced on Friday a plan to keep state parks open, “Working closely with my Departments of Finance and Parks and Recreation, we have successfully found a way to avoid closing parks this year,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This is fantastic news for all Californians.”

    The plan includes steps such as cutting back on maintenance, delaying the purchase of equipment and reducing days of operation in some parks, hours of operation in others. The Governor will provide more details at the Vento reception in October.

    National Park Trust Board Chair, F. William Brownell says, “The budget crisis in California emphasizes the importance of organizations like NPT who work to develop and to leverage resources to protect our parks. We discussed the matter of park closures with the Governor in June and are hopeful that our concerns have contributed to this resolution. NPT is committed to working with California to support the continued viability of the state’s parks; we will support California’s efforts to develop long-term solutions to keep them open.”

    NPT will recognize Governor Schwarzenegger for his overall record in land conservation, the highlights of which include the creation of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the protection of important coastal areas in California, the preservation and stewardship of related forests and stream habitat, and his initiatives promoting youth fitness and out-of-doors experiences, exemplified in California Children’s Bill of Rights. NPT also recognizes the Governor for his leadership in addressing climate change and alternative energy. Through a generous donation, the event will be carbon neutral.

    NPT also celebrates the Governor’s belief in the value of public-private partnerships, including the necessity of bi-partisanship to achieve lasting environmental progress. His achievements in California epitomize NPT’s vision that “Everyone will have an American Park Experience.”

    Each year NPT honors a public servant with the Vento Award for his or her commitment to the environment, service, and innovation in support of our public lands. The Award was established in 2000 by NPT to honor the memory and legacy of Bruce F. Vento, a twelve-term Congressman from Minnesota who was a committed environmentalist and a champion of legislation for America’s parks.

    Recent recipients have included: Senator Harry Reid (NV), Congressman George Miller (CA) and Senator John McCain (AZ). The award is presented annually in the spring at a reception in Washington, DC.

    National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of our nation’s critical parklands and reconnecting our youth to nature, especially those that are underserved. All proceeds from the event will benefit NPT’s land conservation and youth education programs.

    Press contact:

    Kit McGinnis

    Programs and Communications Director

    National Park Trust

    Email: [email protected]

    Phone: 304-728-3506


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