The Redding, California-based Record Searchlight reported yesterday that McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park in eastern Shasta County is planning to transform a sorry looking 1,217-square-foot concession building (pictured on left) into a state of the art $1.1 million visitor center which will include indoor and outdoor exhibits, a theater, a gift shop and a training room. McArthur-Burney Falls – a popular camping and RVing destination – is indisputably one of the most beautiful state parks in California.
Once described by Theodore Roosevelt – with perhaps just a wee bit of hyperbole – as the “eighth wonder of the world” McArthur-Burney Falls – which encompasses the 129-foot Burney Falls as well as Lake Britton – is bucking the trend in the Golden State which is still on track to close up to 70 of the state’s 279 parks by July. It’s likely that the glorious McArthur-Burney Falls – a dazzling northern California treasure – escaped the budgetary axe because of its consistently high visitor numbers. In 2009-10, the park attracted 164,000 visitors and raised $543,000 from a combination of entry, campground and concession fees.
Whilst there are some who have spoken against spending money on state parks in a time of financial hardship it makes sound business sense to invest in a state asset that is actually revenue positive. Furthermore, the $5.38 billion raised from Proposition 84 is “ring-fenced funding” which can’t be used to offset park and recreation operating costs, it can only be applied to specific construction programs.
Those that have visited this glorious state park – which was once the ancestral home of the Atsugewi and the Achumawi Indians – will welcome the continued capital investment in a spectacular natural asset which has seen a steady stream of improvements since the drafting of the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park General Plan back in June, 1997.
McArthur-Burney Falls is one of a number of local attractions like the gorgeous Lassen Volcanic National Park, the remarkable Subway Cave lava tube, the intriguing Sundial Bridge and the 14,179 foot-tall Mount Shasta which make the surrounding area so attractive to hikers, campers, RVers and outdoorsmen. There is no surer way to kill those transient tourist dollars than by failing to invest in those profitable state park assets which make a measurable and sustained contribution to the local economy.
- McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park: Shasta County, California
- Subway Cave lava tube: Lassen National Forest, California
- Lassen Volcanic National Park: Lassen County, California
- Turtle Bay’s Sundial Bridge, Redding, California
- Durango RV Resort: An RVing haven in Red Bluff, California
Additional Info: McArthur Burney Falls Memorial State Park • McArthur Burney Falls Interpretive Association (MBFIA) •