Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC


  ( Division 1 repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

CHAPTER 1. Department of Parks and Recreation [500 - 563]

  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

ARTICLE 2. State Park and Recreation Commission [530 - 546]
  ( Heading of Article 2 amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1179. )


(a) There is in the department the State Park and Recreation Commission. The members shall be selected as follows:

(1) Nine members, as follows, shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate.

(A) Three members shall represent the public.

(B) One member shall have demonstrated expertise in cultural or historic resources management.

(C) One member shall have background as a parks professional with experience in local, regional, or national parks or may be a retired state parks employee from the department.

(D) One member shall represent nonprofit or other organizations with statewide policy expertise with the state park system or in operating one or more state parks through operating agreements or other arrangements.

(E) One member shall represent a statewide conservation organization with expertise in the administration or programs of the department.

(F) One member shall have a background in the recreational industry.

(G) One member shall represent a local business community that has significant and beneficial relationships with one or more state parks.

(2) The Speaker of the Assembly and the Senate Committee on Rules shall each appoint one ex officio legislative member.

(b) As appointments are made to the commission after the effective date of the act that amended this section during the 2011–12 Regular Session, the Governor shall ensure that appointments are made in conformance with this section.

(c) If a reference is made to the State Park Commission or Recreation Commission pertaining to a duty, power, purpose, responsibility, or jurisdiction of the State Park Commission or the Recreation Commission, it shall be deemed to be a reference to and to mean the State Park and Recreation Commission.

(d) The commission chair may appoint committees composed of commission members and the duties of the committees shall include, but not be limited to, those duties set forth in Sections 539 and 540. Findings and recommendations of the committees shall be presented to the commission for consideration and action.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 530, Sec. 2. (AB 1478) Effective September 25, 2012.)


The members of the commission shall be selected from areas distributed throughout the state and because of their interest in park, recreation, conservation, and boating and waterways matters and, except for initial members of the commission, shall serve for terms of four years or until their successors are appointed and qualified.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 136, Sec. 3. (AB 737) Effective January 1, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 5 of Ch. 136.)


In case of any vacancy, the appointment shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term. All appointments of members made when the Legislature is not in session shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate at the next regular or special session of the Legislature.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1179.)


The commission shall elect a chair from its number who shall serve as chair for one year and until a successor is elected.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 213, Sec. 2. (AB 2768) Effective January 1, 2011.)


The Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation shall act as secretary of the commission and shall appoint such assistants as are necessary to carry out this function. Such assistants shall be appointed from among the employees of the department.

(Added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1179.)


The commission shall report annually to the Governor, through the director, on existing and operating recreational facilities, programs and activities of the state park system, and on the needs of the state and the local subdivisions thereof for recreational facilities, programs, and activities, and shall make recommendations for programs and activities to meet future needs of the state for parks and recreation.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1179.)


(a) The commission shall evaluate and assess the department’s deferred maintenance obligations. After public notice and at a public hearing, following a presentation by the relevant district superintendent, it may consider the nature and extent, and establish the relative priority, of prospective deferred maintenance projects of the department.

(b) The commission may provide advice to the Governor, the Legislature, and the department on policies, projects, and other matters pertaining to parks, recreation, and public access affecting the state park system.

(c) The commission may conduct an annual workshop or series of workshops to review the department’s annual operating budget and proposed capital improvement projects.

(d) The commission may make recommendations to improve visitor services and visitor satisfaction in parks, assess the progress and challenges with regard to the protection of natural, cultural, and historical resources within the state park system, and enhance revenue opportunities across the state park system.

(e) The commission may assist in promoting the state park system and parks and recreational facilities and programs.

(f) The sum of one hundred twenty thousands dollars ($120,000) annually in the 2012–13 and 2013–14 fiscal years is hereby appropriated from the State Parks and Recreation Fund to the State Park and Recreation Commission for the purpose of funding those activities authorized under this section.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 530, Sec. 3. (AB 1478) Effective September 25, 2012.)


The members of the commission may receive a salary for their services in an amount of fifty dollars ($50) for each day, up to a maximum salary of one hundred dollars ($100) per month. A member of the commission may also be reimbursed for the actual and necessary expenses which are incurred in the performance of the member’s duties.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any member of the commission who is also a member of, and is entitled to receive the benefits from, the Legislators’ Retirement System may elect to forego the compensation provided by this section and, if the compensation is foregone, the member shall not have his or her retirement benefits reduced and shall not be required to be reinstated into the retirement system.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 942, Sec. 2.)


The commission may designate, delete, or modify state marine reserves, state marine parks, state marine conservation areas, state marine cultural preservation areas, and state marine recreational management areas, as delineated in subdivision (b) of Section 36725. The commission may not designate, delete, or modify a state marine reserve, state marine park, or state marine conservation area without the concurrence of the Fish and Game Commission on any proposed restrictions upon, or change in, the use of living marine resources.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 610, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2004.)


The commission shall establish general policies for the guidance of the director in the administration, protection and development of the state park system.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1179.)


(a) The commission shall cause to be studied and shall consider the whole problem of recreation of the people of the State of California as it affects and may affect the welfare of the people and especially the children and youth.

(b) The commission shall formulate, in cooperation with other state agencies, interested organizations and citizens, and shall recommend to the director, for adoption by him, a comprehensive recreational policy for the State of California.

(Added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1179.)


In accordance with the general policies established by the commission, and as requested by the director, the Department of Parks and Recreation shall:

(a) Assist the commission in the performance of its functions under Sections 539 and 540 of this code.

(b) Investigate and report to the director and the commission upon the facilities and services which are needed or which exist in the public recreational areas within the state and by consultation with the authorities in charge, assist in the coordination and development of recreational programs; provided, that surveys of the recreational facilities and programs of local agencies shall be made only upon their request.

(c) Advise and cooperate with and encourage community recreation agencies interested in the use of or the development of recreational facilities and programs for public benefit.

(d) Advise the administrative officers of all state agencies, authorized by law to perform recreational services, of regular meetings of the commission and of such special meetings as may consider matters relating to their specific responsibilities, and invite such officers to attend and participate in deliberations of the commission without the authority to vote.

(e) Make studies and surveys and long range plans of recreational facilities and programs necessary to meet recreation needs throughout the state, and participate with other federal, state, and local governmental agencies in advance planning with respect to the development and coordination of recreational facilities and programs.

(Added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1179.)


(a) The department shall not close, or propose to close, a state park in the 2012–13 or 2013–14 fiscal year. The commission and the department shall recommend all necessary steps to establish a sustainable funding strategy for the department to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2015.

(b) There is hereby appropriated twenty million five hundred thousand dollars ($20,500,000) to the department from the State Parks and Recreation Fund, which shall be available for encumbrance until June 30, 2016, and for liquidation until June 30, 2018, to be expended as follows:

(1) Ten million dollars ($10,000,000) shall be available to provide for matching funds pursuant to subdivision (c).

(2) Ten million dollars ($10,000,000) shall be available for the department to direct funds to parks that remain at risk of closure or that will keep parks open during the 2012–13 to 2015–16 fiscal years, inclusive. Priority may be given to parks subject to a donor or operating agreement or other contractual arrangement with the department.

(3) Up to five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) shall be available for the department to pay for ongoing audits and investigations as directed by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the office of the Attorney General, the Department of Finance, or other state agency.

(c) The department shall match on a dollar-for-dollar basis all financial contributions contributed by a donor pursuant to an agreement for the 2012–13 fiscal year for which the department received funds as of July 31, 2013, and for agreements entered into in the 2013–14 fiscal year. These matching funds shall be used exclusively in the park unit subject to those agreements.

(d) The department shall notify the Joint Legislative Budget Committee in writing not less than 30 days before the expenditure of funds under this section of the funding that shall be expended, the manner of the expenditure, and the recipient of the expenditure.

(e) The prohibition on the closure, or proposed closure, of a state park in the 2012–13 or 2013–14 fiscal year, pursuant to subdivision (a), does not limit or affect the department’s authority to enter into an operating agreement, pursuant to Section 5080.42, during the 2012–13 or 2013–14 fiscal year, for purposes of the operation of the entirety of a state park during the 2012–13 or 2013–14 fiscal year.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 86, Sec. 252. (SB 1171) Effective January 1, 2017.)


(a) There is hereby appropriated ten million dollars ($10,000,000) from the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Water Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006 (Division 43 (commencing with Section 75001)) to be expended as follows:

(1) The amount appropriated in this item is available for expenditures for capital outlay and support for capital outlay projects of a state park.

(2) No commitment of funds from this item shall be authorized prior to 30 days after the Department of Parks and Recreation notifies the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the Department of Finance of the projects to be funded from this section. No funds shall be expended for capital outlay projects without prior approval of the State Public Works Board.

(3) The amount appropriated in this section shall be available for expenditure until June 30, 2015.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 530, Sec. 5. (AB 1478) Effective September 25, 2012.)


The department may encourage and render assistance in the promotion of training programs for volunteer and professional recreation leaders in cooperation with other agencies, organizations and institutions, and may encourage the establishment of standards for recreation personnel.

(Added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1179.)


The department may assist every department, commission, board, agency and officer of the state in rendering recreational services in conformity with their respective authorized powers and duties and encourage and assist in the coordination of federal, state and local recreational activities.

(Added by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1179.)


The director may authorize any employee of the department to exercise any power granted to, or to perform any duty imposed upon, the director.

(Amended by Stats. 1967, Ch. 1179.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC2