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State Parks forum set for Wednesday

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A public forum concerning the three state parks that nonprofits took over last year will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23 at the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space offices, 747 Mendocino Ave., in Santa Rosa.

It has been a little over a year since qualified nonprofits entered into operating agreements with California State Parks to manage parks that were slated to be closed in July 2012.

Operators include Valley of the Moon Natural History Association for Jack London State Historic Park, Sonoma Ecology Center (Team Sugarloaf) for Sugarloaf State Park and Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods for Austin Creek State Recreation Area.

These nonprofit organizations envision a future of public private partnerships where the expertise of each of the partners is used to create management models that best serve the citizens of California.

The public is invited to hear short presentations about each annual report and then engage in a discussion, which will be moderated by Laurel Dixon of the Parks Alliance of Sonoma County. These nonprofit organizations/park operators have submitted annual reports to California State Parks that:

• Showcases accomplishments

• Highlight projects where the partnership has proven valuable

• Discuss challenges looking ahead to the future

Reports from operators can be found on their respective websites: jacklondonpark.com; stewardsofthecoastandredwoods.com; sugarloafpark.com and parks.ca.gov.