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  1. #1
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    FOCC NOW OPERATES CHINA CAMP STATE PARK - THANK YOU!‏ but more help needed!!!

    A copy and paste job brought to you by Buzkil and the letter "C".
    Friends and Supporters of China Camp:

    After much hard work with dedicated State Parks employees over the past few weeks, I am pleased to let you know that Ruth Coleman, Director of California State Parks, has signed the agreement for Friends to become operator of China Camp!

    The agreement still needs final approval from the Department of General Services. In the mean time, State Parks has granted us an Early Entry Permit which effectively allows us to operate the park immediately. YES, you are the operators of China Camp -CONGRATULATIONS!

    It has been a whirlwind few months since we started rallying with you to save the park. From a very small organization with less than fifty members, we now have 1,400 members and donors, and an annual capital and operating budget over $600K, an increase of almost 200 times! This has only been possible with your tremendous support. Your grassroots effort has allowed us to become who we are, gain the support of many organizations and foundations, and garner extraordinary coverage from the media.

    We owe a great debt to you all, and to our partners and supporters – Access 4 Bikes, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Asian Americans Association of Marin, Bay Area Sea Kayakers, California Historical Society, Chinese Historical Society of America, Marin Chinese Cultural Association, Marin Conservation League, Marin County Bicycle Coalition, Marin History Museum, Marin Open Parks Coalition, NorCal cycling League, and WildCare.

    We are most grateful for the generous financial support of many foundations and organizations – Arntz Family Foundation, California State Parks Foundation, Freshwind Foundation, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Marin Chinese Cultural Association, Marin Community Foundation, and foundations which prefer to remain anonymous – thank you!

    We must also thank the enormous support of so many from California State Parks. They helped formulate our operating plan, worked in partnership to overcome numerous obstacles, and cheered us on along the way! We look forward to operating the park with our colleagues from State Parks.

    You will be happy to know that the key terms of the Operating Agreement include:

    · FOCC will operate the park for 3 years, with the agreement renewable annually by mutual agreement through 2017

    · The entire park is included in the agreement, with the exception of an existing concession which includes the café and some buildings in the historic village; that concession will remain under the control of State Parks

    · All facilities, including camping, picnic sites, museum, trails and beach will be opened every day of the year

    · All fees collected at the park will be managed and used by FOCC for the operation of the park

    · FOCC will contract with State Parks to provide 1 ranger/peace office, 1 maintenance worker, 2 park aides, and 2 seasonal maintenance workers, to be supplemented by volunteers, for the operation of the park

    The Operating Agreement also includes a detailed financial plan for the park’s operation:

    · Annual operating expenditures of up to $526,000 for labor, non-labor, emergency repairs, and contingency

    · A first year capital improvement plan of $64,200 for signage, electronic pay stations, new campsites, walking tour viewing stations, and office equipment (the program has since been revised to $95,000 to include new picnic/event sites)

    · Projected income from park use fees – camping, day use, events rental – of $250,000-300,000 annually. We will ask all users to support the park by paying for the use of the park. A park use payment system is being finalized

    · Projected funds raised from special events to be held at the park, FOCC memberships and donations, foundation and other grants, and fundraising events of $250,000-300,000 annually

    While we have exceeded our July 1 fundraising goal of $250K towards the operation of the park in the first year, we anticipate a shortfall in the income from park use, as many have made plans to go elsewhere this summer, thinking the park was going to be closed. We are still far short of our goal of raising $95,000 for our capital improvement program, and are just beginning to develop a budget for other programs which will directly benefit all park users.




    You can help by:

    · Using the park, especially camping during the week and reserving the picnic sites for birthdays, celebrations, company and other functions, and tell your friends to do the same

    · Contributing to our fundraising efforts

    · Volunteering your talents, experience, and time to support the park

    In its editorial on June 26, 2012 about the four state parks in Marin on the closure list, the Marin IJ very correctly stated, ”Friends of China Camp faced perhaps the most daunting task”. We have only been able to accomplish this impossible task because of you.


    Our deepest thank you, and congratulations to you!


    Ernest Chung

    Chairperson, FOCC
    To love me is to rep me, world domination is eminent/imminent/immanent.

  2. #2
    NedwannaB
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    Thanks for update buzzkill!
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  3. #3
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    Interesting, while I'm glad the park isn't closing and it is good the park will be open every day for camping, hoping this will not have an impact on the trails. Also curious what kind of improvement projects they are talking about?

    I'm just happy Ales and Trails is happening this year

  4. #4
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    Good news for users. FYI there was a large tree down across Bay Ridge on Tuesday. Way too big to move.

  5. #5
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    Wonderful to hear. Will gladly pay to use the park.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  6. #6
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    I am glad that China Camp is not closing down, but let me get this straight.

    The park was about to close due to lack of funds. Zero. (I thought the money was restored.)
    The park revenues are expected to be $250,000 less than expenses.
    And the fist year's agenda is to spend $95,000 on improvements?
    Sounds like the government is still in control, spending far more than it's income, hoping for a bail out.
    · Annual operating expenditures of up to $526,000 for labor, non-labor, emergency repairs, and contingency

    · A first year capital improvement plan of $64,200 for signage, electronic pay stations, new campsites, walking tour viewing stations, and office equipment (the program has since been revised to $95,000 to include new picnic/event sites)

    · Projected income from park use fees – camping, day use, events rental – of $250,000-300,000 annually. We will ask all users to support the park by paying for the use of the park. A park use payment system is being finalized

    We are still far short of our goal of raising $95,000 for our capital improvement program, and are just beginning to develop a budget for other programs which will directly benefit all park users.

  7. #7
    Old,slow,still havin fun.
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    Projected income from park use fees
    Will 100% of the income from park fees stay in China Camp? If not, what %?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzkil View Post
    [I]

    · FOCC will contract with State Parks to provide 1 ranger/peace office, 1 maintenance worker, 2 park aides, and 2 seasonal maintenance workers, to be supplemented by volunteers, for the operation of the park

    I'm curious if there will be any changes in the authority of rangers at CC? If there is only 1 ranger, does that mean that there will only be a single person that can issue an actual ticket at any time? Will that ticket carry the same authority/penalty as a previous ticket? If I am not mistaken, China Camp is still a state park, just being operated by a volunteer organization due to insufficient funding? So the 1 Ranger at CC will still be a state parks ranger with state parks authority?

    Went wine tasting today and now several DIPAs deep, sorry for the ramble......

  9. #9
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    all good questions, I was just passing on information from an email I received. I would contact FOCC to get an answer. ----> Ernest Chung, Chairperson, FOCC
    To love me is to rep me, world domination is eminent/imminent/immanent.

  10. #10
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    Surprise! They just found $55 million off the books.


    The surplus money consists of $20.3 million in the Parks and Recreation Fund, and $33.5 million in the Off Highway Vehicle Fund, which are the two primary operating funds at the agency. This money was not reported to the state Finance Department, in contrast to normal budgeting procedures.

    Read more here: California parks director resigns amid scandal - California State Parks - The Sacramento Bee

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevXR View Post
    Surprise! They just found $55 million off the books.


    The surplus money consists of $20.3 million in the Parks and Recreation Fund, and $33.5 million in the Off Highway Vehicle Fund, which are the two primary operating funds at the agency. This money was not reported to the state Finance Department, in contrast to normal budgeting procedures.

    Read more here: California parks director resigns amid scandal - California State Parks - The Sacramento Bee
    After having worked with government, the first rule is that they almost always have more money somewhere.

  12. #12
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    One question: Will my State Parks parking pass still be good at China Camp? Or will I have to pay as I go?
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  13. #13
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    I just got this in my Tamarancho newsletter

    Volunteer Wanted- Pass Program at China Camp
    A volunteer is needed to manage the new proposed Annual Pass Program at China Camp State Park. Friends of China Camp (FOCC) is now the operator of China Camp State Park and funding of the park's operation will partially come from park use fees. The program will be similar to the one at Tamarancho Boy Scout Camp, including the issuance of annual passes for frequent park users.


    So we are going to have to PAY to use the trails at a State Park? I understand paying to use Tamarancho, since that is private land. But paying to use the trails at a state park doesn't sit right with me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTT77 View Post
    I just got this in my Tamarancho newsletter

    Volunteer Wanted- Pass Program at China Camp
    A volunteer is needed to manage the new proposed Annual Pass Program at China Camp State Park. Friends of China Camp (FOCC) is now the operator of China Camp State Park and funding of the park's operation will partially come from park use fees. The program will be similar to the one at Tamarancho Boy Scout Camp, including the issuance of annual passes for frequent park users.


    So we are going to have to PAY to use the trails at a State Park? I understand paying to use Tamarancho, since that is private land. But paying to use the trails at a state park doesn't sit right with me.
    I agree with MTT77. I still have not heard if my State Parks parking pass will be any good at China Camp, and now it appears I might have to pony up just to put tire to dirt? I can understand getting cash for use of the parking spots, but pay-to-play...especially on public land? Are all trail users going to have to pay for use?
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bokchoicowboy View Post
    I agree with MTT77. I still have not heard if my State Parks parking pass will be any good at China Camp, and now it appears I might have to pony up just to put tire to dirt? I can understand getting cash for use of the parking spots, but pay-to-play...especially on public land? Are all trail users going to have to pay for use?
    Doesn't this park have multiple points of entry, how could this be enforced?

  16. #16
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    Seems like they are looking for volunteers to check for passes?

  17. #17
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    Yeah, I found the tamarancho news a bit odd. My guess is they need someone to spearhead the computer system setup. I would email the FOCC. I think it would be nice if state park passes were grandfathered at least for the first year or two. Regardless if I need to pay 40 bucks a year for another pass that goes directly to the park I am riding in, I'm fine with that.

    I would also assume that if FOCC is actually taking over then the park has been "privatized"

    ps tamarancho has multiple entry and exit points too.
    To love me is to rep me, world domination is eminent/imminent/immanent.

  18. #18
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    I emailed them about where the parking fees go now, and the State Parks pass. Got a prompt response:

    Yes, all revenue now generated at China Camp (parking, camping, events at Weber, Buckeye & Miwok), as of July 17th, stays at China Camp. FOCC has an Operating Agreement with State Parks that enables us to pay for the operation of the park through their Marin District, which means China Camp revenue no longer "goes to Sacramento."

    State Park passes will still be accepted at China Camp through June of next year. Hopefully, at some point we will be able to sell those passes at China Camp and be able to keep a percentage so that they can continued to be honored next fiscal year (starting Jul '13).
    So: if you've been parking outside because the money doesn't go to CC, it's time to sack up and pay the fees because the money stays in the park.
    Last edited by fgiraffe; 09-19-2012 at 01:59 PM. Reason: typo fixn'

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgiraffe View Post
    I emailed them about where the parking fees go now, and the State Parks pass. Got a prompt response:



    So: if you've been parking outside because the money doesn't go to CC, it's time to sack up and pay the fees because the money stays in the park.
    Thanks for doing that! Good to know!
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgiraffe View Post
    I emailed them about where the parking fees go now, and the State Parks pass. Got a prompt response:



    So: if you've been parking outside because the money doesn't go to CC, it's time to sack up and pay the fees because the money stays in the park.
    Thanks fgiraffe.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  21. #21
    J-Flo
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgiraffe View Post
    So: if you've been parking outside because the money doesn't go to CC, it's time to sack up and pay the fees because the money stays in the park.
    +1

    To save and improve China Camp, we should all pay the use fee (unless you have a state park pass through June 2013). FOCC will need the $ to keep the park open, clean, and safe.

    To those who don't want to pay, note that there has always been a use fee at China Camp (and every other state park of which I am aware). That isn't changing. What is changing is where the money goes, and next June your annual state park pass won't work.

  22. #22
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    Tamarancho is private property and the use fee is to access private property.

    China Camp is public property and the use fees have always been for using the parking lot or camping areas, not trail access. Is FOCC trying to change the policy? I don't mind a donation can at the access point, like at Slick Rock, but charging for trail access would be wrong.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevXR View Post
    Tamarancho is private property and the use fee is to access private property.

    China Camp is public property and the use fees have always been for using the parking lot or camping areas, not trail access. Is FOCC trying to change the policy? I don't mind a donation can at the access point, like at Slick Rock, but charging for trail access would be wrong.
    Rode there Saturday and they just have a donation can. I put some money in as I like riding there and feel that putting some money in the pot is more than fair given the continued access.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  24. #24
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    Glad the park remains open and that when it looked like it may be closed the FOCC stepped up and did a lot of work to see that it would stay open. BUT....what a pathetic state government. Threaten to close 70 parks to save $22 million when they have $55 million sitting in undisclosed accounts. While happy the park will stay open the end result is more fees. I agree with KevXR, I buy an annual pass for Tamarancho and am happy to because it's private property. I hope the state park pass will still work at a "state park" and the FOCC is able to get some money out of it.
    In this article they talk about charging hikers $2 and bikers $3 at electronic pay stations. Not mentioned here but also mentioned by a ranger at the park is a plan to charge for ALL streetside parking in the park. If it's gonna happen I hope they do a year pass that includes a parking placard. Dealing with paying for a pass and parking every time would certainly cut down my visits. Hmmmm....maybe it wouldn't be as crowded.

    Marin citizens group takes over China Camp State Park - Marin Independent Journal

    Maybe I'm getting old but I remember when our taxes supported public parks.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevXR View Post
    I don't mind a donation can at the access point, like at Slick Rock, but charging for trail access would be wrong.
    Why would charging for trail access be wrong? Trails don't cut and maintain themselves. Even volunteer trailwork requires equipment, tools, beer and BBQs and most importantly somebody who knows what they're doing calling the shots. Keeping trails open costs money. It's fine to argue about whether the state should or could have kept the park open, but in the real world the truth is that the park was going to close unless somebody else stepped up.

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