The requirement for a lease in excess of 20 years should be a UNANIMOUS VOTE by the Commission for ALL parks. If ES2HB 2667 becomes law, this will change. This bill violates protections needed for all our state parks and sets a bad precedent by permitting an exception for one state park, Saint Edward. For all other state parks, a unanimous vote of approval is required for a lease in excess of 20 years. This bill allows property within Saint Edward State Park to be leased for 62 years with only 5 votes of approval instead of 7. All state parks should have the same requirement for a sale or long-term lease of park property. There should not be a carve out for one specific park. It will take a robust rebuttal on the Senate floor to defeat ES2HB 2667.
Of particular concern is Section 3 requiring the Department of Commerce to complete a hasty feasibility study by July 31, 2016, which would likely be contracted out. This seems too finely tailored to a particular developer who is seeking to use park property. The State Parks Commission already has authority to conduct feasibility studies if it sees fit. The Land & Water Conservation Fund lays out principles to govern management of state parks set aside for passive outdoor recreation. Our state laws should honor not interfere with this process.
Contact your state senator to say you oppose this bill! Contact info here