Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 5. PARKS AND MONUMENTS [5001 - 5873]

  ( Division 5 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 94. )

CHAPTER 1. State Parks and Monuments [5001 - 5077.8]

  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 94. )

ARTICLE 1.7. Classification of Units of the State Park System [5019.50 - 5019.80]
  ( Article 1.7 added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 615. )

5019.50.
  

All units that are or shall become a part of the state park system, except those units or parts of units designated by the Legislature as wilderness areas pursuant to Chapter 1.3 (commencing with Section 5093.30), or where subject to any other provision of law, including Section 5019.80 and Article 1 (commencing with Section 36600) of Chapter 7 of Division 27, shall be classified by the State Park and Recreation Commission into one of the categories specified in this article. Classification of state marine reserves, state marine parks, and state marine conservation areas, requires the concurrence of the Fish and Game Commission for restrictions to be placed upon the use of living marine resources.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 610, Sec. 18. Effective January 1, 2004.)

5019.53.
  

State parks consist of relatively spacious areas of outstanding scenic or natural character, oftentimes also containing significant historical, archaeological, ecological, geological, or other similar values. The purpose of state parks shall be to preserve outstanding natural, scenic, and cultural values, indigenous aquatic and terrestrial fauna and flora, and the most significant examples of ecological regions of California, such as the Sierra Nevada, northeast volcanic, great valley, coastal strip, Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains, southwest mountains and valleys, redwoods, foothills and low coastal mountains, and desert and desert mountains.

Each state park shall be managed as a composite whole in order to restore, protect, and maintain its native environmental complexes to the extent compatible with the primary purpose for which the park was established.

Improvements undertaken within state parks shall be for the purpose of making the areas available for public enjoyment and education in a manner consistent with the preservation of natural, scenic, cultural, and ecological values for present and future generations. Improvements may be undertaken to provide for recreational activities including, but not limited to, camping, picnicking, sightseeing, nature study, hiking, and horseback riding, so long as those improvements involve no major modification of lands, forests, or waters. Improvements that do not directly enhance the public’s enjoyment of the natural, scenic, cultural, or ecological values of the resource, which are attractions in themselves, or which are otherwise available to the public within a reasonable distance outside the park, shall not be undertaken within state parks.

State parks may be established in the terrestrial or nonmarine aquatic (lake or stream) environments of the state.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 385, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2001.)

5019.56.
  

State recreation units consist of areas selected, developed, and operated to provide outdoor recreational opportunities. The units shall be designated by the commission by naming, in accordance with Article 1 (commencing with Section 5001) and this article relating to classification.

In the planning of improvements to be undertaken within state recreation units, consideration shall be given to compatibility of design with the surrounding scenic and environmental characteristics.

State recreation units may be established in the terrestrial or nonmarine aquatic (lake or stream) environments of the state and shall be further classified as one of the following types:

(a) State recreation areas, consisting of areas selected and developed to provide multiple recreational opportunities to meet other than purely local needs. The areas shall be selected for their having terrain capable of withstanding extensive human impact and for their proximity to large population centers, major routes of travel, or proven recreational resources such as manmade or natural bodies of water. Areas containing ecological, geological, scenic, or cultural resources of significant value shall be preserved within state wildernesses, state reserves, state parks, or natural or cultural preserves, or, for those areas situated seaward of the mean high tide line, shall be designated state marine reserves, state marine parks, state marine conservation areas, or state marine cultural preservation areas.

Improvements may be undertaken to provide for recreational activities, including, but not limited to, camping, picnicking, swimming, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, boating, waterskiing, diving, winter sports, fishing, and hunting.

Improvements to provide for urban or indoor formalized recreational activities shall not be undertaken within state recreation areas.

(b) Underwater recreation areas, consisting of areas in the nonmarine aquatic (lake or stream) environment selected and developed to provide surface and subsurface water-oriented recreational opportunities, while preserving basic resource values for present and future generations.

(c) State beaches, consisting of areas with frontage on the ocean, or bays designed to provide swimming, boating, fishing, and other beach-oriented recreational activities. Coastal areas containing ecological, geological, scenic, or cultural resources of significant value shall be preserved within state wildernesses, state reserves, state parks, or natural or cultural preserves, or, for those areas situated seaward of the mean high tide line, shall be designated state marine reserves, state marine parks, state marine conservation areas, or state marine cultural preservation areas.

(d) Wayside campgrounds, consisting of relatively small areas suitable for overnight camping and offering convenient access to major highways.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 610, Sec. 19. Effective January 1, 2004.)

5019.59.
  

Historical units, to be named appropriately and individually, consist of nonmarine areas established primarily to preserve objects of historical, archaeological, and scientific interest, and archaeological sites and places commemorating important persons or historic events. The areas should be of sufficient size, where possible, to encompass a significant proportion of the landscape associated with the historical objects. The only facilities that may be provided are those required for the safety, comfort, and enjoyment of the visitors, such as access, parking, water, sanitation, interpretation, and picnicking. Upon approval by the commission, lands outside the primary historic zone may be selected or acquired, developed, or operated to provide camping facilities within appropriate historical units. Upon approval by the State Park and Recreation Commission, an area outside the primary historic zone may be designated as a recreation zone to provide limited recreational opportunities that will supplement the public’s enjoyment of the unit. Certain agricultural, mercantile, or other commercial activities may be permitted if those activities are a part of the history of the individual unit and any developments retain or restore historical authenticity. Historical units shall be named to perpetuate the primary historical theme of the individual units.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 385, Sec. 16. Effective January 1, 2001.)

5019.62.
  

State seashores consist of relatively spacious coastline areas with frontage on the ocean, or on bays open to the ocean, including water areas landward of the mean high tide line and seasonally connected to the ocean, possessing outstanding scenic or natural character and significant recreational, historical, archaeological, or geological values.

The purpose of state seashores shall be to preserve outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, ecological, and recreational values of the California coastline as an ecological region and to make possible the enjoyment of coastline and related recreational activities which are consistent with the preservation of the principal values and which contribute to the public enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of those values.

Improvements undertaken within state seashores shall be for the purpose of making the areas available for public enjoyment, recreation, and education in a manner consistent with the perpetuation of their natural, scenic, cultural, ecological, and recreational value. Improvements which do not directly enhance the public enjoyment of the natural, scenic, cultural, ecological, or recreational values of the seashore, or which are attractions in themselves, shall not be undertaken.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 385, Sec. 17. Effective January 1, 2001.)

5019.65.
  

State reserves consist of areas embracing outstanding natural or scenic characteristics or areas containing outstanding cultural resources of statewide significance. State reserve units may be established in the terrestrial or nonmarine aquatic (lake or stream) environments of the state and shall be further classified as one of the following types:

(a) State natural reserves, consisting of areas selected and managed for the purpose of preserving their native ecological associations, unique faunal or floral characteristics, geological features, and scenic qualities in a condition of undisturbed integrity. Resource manipulation shall be restricted to the minimum required to negate the deleterious influence of man.

Improvements undertaken shall be for the purpose of making the areas available, on a day use basis, for public enjoyment and education in a manner consistent with the preservation of their natural features. Living and nonliving resources contained within state natural reserves shall not be disturbed or removed for other than scientific or management purposes.

(b) State cultural reserves, consisting of areas selected and managed for the purpose of preserving and protecting the integrity of places that contain historic or prehistoric structures, villages, or settlements, archaeological features, ruins, artifacts, inscriptions made by humans, burial grounds, landscapes, hunting or gathering sites, or similar evidence of past human lives or cultures. These areas may also be places of spiritual significance to California Native Americans. Within state cultural reserves, the highest level of resource protection shall be sought. Improvements may be undertaken for the purpose of providing public access, enjoyment, and education, and for cultural resource protection. Improvements made for the purpose of cultural resource protection shall take into account the possible need for access to the site for ceremonial or spiritual purposes. Living and nonliving resources contained within state cultural reserves may be used for ceremonial or spiritual purposes, consistent with other laws, and if the use is not harmful to threatened or endangered species or to the cultural resources intended for protection by this designation. Management actions shall be consistent with the preservation of cultural resources and with federal and state laws.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 517, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2004.)

5019.68.
  

State wildernesses, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, are hereby recognized as areas where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man and where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. A state wilderness is further defined to mean an area of relatively undeveloped state-owned or leased land which has retained its primeval character and influence or has been substantially restored to a near-natural appearance, without permanent improvements or human habitation, other than semi-improved campgrounds, or structures which existed at the time of classification of the area as a state wilderness and which the State Park and Recreation Commission has determined may be maintained and used in a manner compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment, or primitive latrines, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions, and which:

(a) Appears generally to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable.

(b) Has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation.

(c) Consists of at least 5,000 acres of land, either by itself or in combination with contiguous areas possessing wilderness characteristics, or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition.

(d) May also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.

State wildernesses may be established within the boundaries of other state park system units.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 1234, Sec. 3. Effective September 29, 1980.)

5019.71.
  

Natural preserves consist of distinct nonmarine areas of outstanding natural or scientific significance established within the boundaries of other state park system units. The purpose of natural preserves shall be to preserve such features as rare or endangered plant and animal species and their supporting ecosystems, representative examples of plant or animal communities existing in California prior to the impact of civilization, geological features illustrative of geological processes, significant fossil occurrences or geological features of cultural or economic interest, or topographic features illustrative of representative or unique biogeographical patterns. Areas set aside as natural preserves shall be of sufficient size to allow, where possible, the natural dynamics of ecological interaction to continue without interference, and to provide, in all cases, a practicable management unit. Habitat manipulation shall be permitted only in those areas found by scientific analysis to require manipulation to preserve the species or associations that constitute the basis for the establishment of the natural preserve.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 385, Sec. 19. Effective January 1, 2001.)

5019.74.
  

Cultural preserves consist of distinct nonmarine areas of outstanding cultural interest established within the boundaries of other state park system units for the purpose of protecting such features as sites, buildings, or zones which represent significant places or events in the flow of human experience in California. Areas set aside as cultural preserves shall be large enough to provide for the effective protection of the prime cultural resources from potentially damaging influences, and to permit the effective management and interpretation of the resources. Within cultural preserves, complete integrity of the cultural resources shall be sought, and no structures or improvements that conflict with that integrity shall be permitted.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 385, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2001.)

5019.80.
  

(a) The Marine Managed Areas Improvement Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 36600) of Division 27) establishes a uniform classification system for state marine managed areas and is incorporated herein by reference. Any proposals for marine managed areas made after January 1, 2002, shall follow the guidelines set forth in that act. Pursuant to Section 36750, existing marine or estuarine areas within units of the state park system that have not been reclassified in accordance with the Marine Life Protection Act (Chapter 10.5 (commencing with Section 2850) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code) on January 1, 2002, shall be reclassified by the State Interagency Coordinating Committee into one of the following classifications:

(1) State marine reserve.

(2) State marine park.

(3) State marine conservation area.

(4) State marine cultural preservation area.

(5) State marine recreational management area.

(b) The process for establishing, deleting, or modifying state marine reserves, state marine parks, state marine conservation areas, state marine cultural preservation areas, and state marine recreational management areas shall be established pursuant to that act. The restrictions and allowable uses applicable to those areas are as set forth in that act.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 610, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2004.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC1.7