California

SAVING GRAVES

 

2003-2004
CEMETERY LEGISLATION
Assembly Bill 1476


ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT, SPORTS, TOURISM, AND INTERNET MEDIA

Rebecca Cohn, Chair AB 1476 (Chavez)
As Amended: April 21, 2003

Assembly Committee Analyses

SUBJECT : State park system

SUMMARY : This legislation would expand the Department of Parks and Recreation's (DPR) park unit classification system to include a specific definition of "cultural reserve" that is distinct from a "natural reserve." Specifically, this bill :

     1)  Designates state natural reserves as those areas that preserve native ecological associations, unique faunal or floral characteristics, geological features, and scenic qualities in a condition of undisturbed integrity.
     2)  Establishes state cultural reserves as those areas that preserve and protect 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.
     3)  Requires the highest level of protection to be sought for each cultural reserve and specifies conditions for the use of and access to a cultural reserve including access to the site for ceremonial and spiritual purposes.

EXISTING LAW :

     1)  Establishes a classification system to characterize the nature, value, purpose, and management of each unit within the state park system.
     2)  Designates three of the fourteen park classifications as:
          a)  Historical units that preserve objects of historical, archaeological, and scientific interest and archaeological sites and places that commemorate important persons or historic events and that are made available for recreation and visitor activity.
          b) State reserves those areas that preserve native ecological associations, unique faunal or floral characteristics, geological features, and scenic qualities in a condition of undisturbed integrity and are made available on a day use basis for public enjoyment and education.
          c) Cultural preserves which are located within existing units of the park system and represent significant places or events in the flow of human experience in California and are protected from potentially damaging external influences.

FISCAL EFFECT : Unknown

COMMENTS :

1)  Purpose of Bill . According to the author and sponsor, "the current statutory park unit classification system does not include a classification that describes holdings intended primarily for the purpose of preserving and protecting historic and pre-historic structures, features and artifacts. While the classification of 'State Historic Park' currently exists, this classification would be inappropriate for such properties because that classification is one that encourages a higher degree of recreation and visitor activity than is appropriate for these sites. In addition, DPR has a classification of 'Cultural Preserve,' but it is only available to subunits of existing units. While the current cultural preserve classification could be used for sites within an existing unit, it is not appropriate for a geographically isolated site."
    Appropriate classification of each state park unit is essential, as it is that classification which determines the appropriate types and levels of use at a unit. This "cultural reserve" proposal would ensure the appropriate classification of state park units selected and managed for the purpose of preserving and protecting the integrity of places which contain historic or pre-historic structures, villages, or settlements, archaeological features, ruins, artifacts, inscriptions made by human agency, burial grounds, landscapes, hunting or gathering sites, or similar evidence of past human lives or cultures. It would result in the best use of these units for the protection and preservation of valuable cultural resources and for the education and enjoyment of the public.

2)  Classification of State Parks . Classification is an official designation, which, in effect, characterizes the inherent nature, and basic value of the unit, specifies its purpose as a unit, and indicates the sort of management it should receive. There are eleven basic classifications, which the State Park and Recreation Commission may give to a unit.
     In addition, current law provides three other classifications which may be given to lands which lie entirely within the boundaries of a unit with one of the above-listed nine classifications. Such units are commonly referred to as "internal units" or "sub-units." The intent of these three classifications is to mandate greater protection to the particularly valuable natural or cultural resources situated within their boundaries.

REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION :

Support

Department of Parks and Recreation (sponsor)
Native American Heritage Commission
Native American Land Conservancy

Opposition

None on file.

Analysis Prepared by : Kellie Smith / A.,E.,S.,T. & I.M. / (916) 319-3450