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AP: California Opening First New State Park in a Decade

California Gov. Gavin Newsom breaks ground on a new state park. Photo courtesy of AP.

California will open its first new state park in a decade this summer, Gov. Gavin Newsom and state officials announced Monday, as the state sets targets for cutting planet-warming emissions on natural lands.

The 1,600-acre (648-hectare) Dos Rios tract in the state’s crop-rich Central Valley is set to open June 12 as California’s 281st state park. Located near the confluence of the Tuolumne and San Joaquin rivers, it is surrounded by vast almond orchards and dairy pastures. Californians will be able to use the park for hiking and picnicking, with plans for swimming and boating access in the future.

Ali Manzo, a Central Valley native and California State Parks interpreter, said the new park will help bring people together and allow them to develop a deeper respect for nature.

“Dos Rios is not just a park,” Manzo said. “It’s a community treasure that offers peace, adventure and a vital connection to nature.”

Manzo joined the governor, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and civil rights icon Dolores Huerta to announce the new park.

The Earth-Day announcement comes as Newsom unveiled new targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions on natural lands. The plan sets out to reduce the risks of wildfires, expand forest cover and restore wetlands. Newsom said the targets would move the state closer toward achieving its mandate of carbon neutrality, meaning it will remove as many carbon emissions from the atmosphere as it emits, by 2045.

“These are stretch goals, unquestionably,” the Democratic governor said. “The good news is we’re making real progress.”

Read the full report from the Associated Press here.

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