SACRAMENTO — An initiative that would authorize $766 million in bonds to develop and protect parks and other natural lands in California will be on the June, 1988, ballot, Secretary of State March Fong Eu said Friday.
The Wildlife, Coastal and Park Land Conservation Bond Act, sponsored by Lt. Gov. Leo McCarthy and environmental groups, gathered 570,832 valid signatures on petitions circulated throughout the state, Eu said.
The measure required 409,396 valid signatures to be placed on the ballot, Eu said.
It would authorize the state to sell $766 million in general obligation bonds to provide money to acquire, develop, rehabilitate, protect or restore park, wildlife, coastal and natural lands in California. It would include supporting unique or endangered plants and animals.
Money for the project would be administered through the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the Wildlife Conservation Board and the state Coastal Conservancy, according to the terms of the initiative.
Opposition to the measure quickly formed.
"This land acquisition initiative is basically an attempt by some private groups to grab funds for their pet projects," said John Ross, vice president of the California Cattlemen's Assn.
"Unlike past park bond initiatives which require competitive grants and state review, this land acquisition initiative essentially gives an open checkbook to certain private groups for acquisition of land," he said.