The California parks system has weathered its share of scandals and upheavals in the past few years. But the system’s newest leader is hoping to focus on the future.
Acting Director Lisa Mangat is the fourth person to lead the state parks system in just two years. She’s taking over from former director Anthony Jackson, who retired suddenly after 18 months. In 2012 the department was rocked by a financial scandal.
Mangat says she wants to make sure the department continues to reform its operations. But she says she also wants to look to the future and expand the appeal of the 280 state parks.
“When you think about the sustainability of the state park system, you have to think about the demographics in California," she says. "What the youth of today are looking for, the Millennials, and how do we reach all these various populations?”
Mangat says she is working closely with the Parks Forward Commission which was established by the legislature in response to the 2012 scandal. This fall the commission will release recommendations on how it believes the parks system should move forward.