California State Park and Recreation Commission Renames Patrick’s Point State Park to Sue-meg State Park and Approves General Plan for Auburn State Recreation Area

Contact: Gloria Sandoval I 

At a virtual public meeting today, the California State Park and Recreation Commission voted to rename a state park to honor the place name used by the Yurok people since time immemorial and adopted a long-range management plan for Auburn State Recreation Area (SRA).

The Commission voted unanimously to rename Patrick’s Point State Park to Sue-meg State Park. The action is one example of how California State Parks is reviewing contested place names, monuments and interpretation across the State Park System as part of the Reexamining Our Past Initiative. This is a larger project within California state government to identify and redress discriminatory names of features attached to the state parks and transportation systems.

“California State Parks applauds the California State Park and Recreation Commission’s approval to rename Patrick’s Point State Park to Sue-meg (“Sue-meh”) State Park,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “This is the first park name change as part of the state’s Reexamining Our Past Initiative and is a momentous step to heal relationships with Native Americans and working together in recognition and honor of indigenous cultural and linguistic relationships.”

“Our journey toward a California for All continues with this historic action today by the State Park and Recreation Commission,” California Secretary for Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot said. “We are thankful to the Yurok community for its leadership and to Governor Gavin Newsom and California State Parks for their vision.”

The public is invited to participate in a live Zoom event, hosted by State Parks’ nonprofit support entity Parks California, with representatives from the Yurok Tribe – in addition to California State Parks, the Governor’s Office, Natural Resources Agency, and Parks California – to discuss the cultural significance of Sue-meg State Park and celebrate the Yurok community.

Below are details on the virtual event:

Date:     Monday, October 4

Time:     12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Where:   Zoom. Click here to register for the event.


  • Joseph L. James, Yurok Tribe Chairman
  • Sherri Provolt, Yurok Tribe Councilmember
  • Christina Snider, Tribal Advisor to Governor Newsom and Executive Secretary of the Native American Heritage Commission
  • Wade Crowfoot, Secretary for Natural Resources
  • Geneva E. B. Thompson, Assistant Secretary for Tribal Affairs, Natural Resources Agency
  • Armando Quintero, State Parks Director
  • Victor Bjelajac, State Parks North Coast Redwoods District Superintendent
  • Kindley Walsh Lawlor, Parks California

The California State Parks and Recreation Commission also voted unanimously to adopt a general plan for Auburn State Recreation Area. This proposal provides long-term management direction for the 30,000-acre state recreation area located in the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of Sacramento.

“California State Parks is committed to protecting the communities surrounding Auburn State Recreation Area, implementing actions and decisions to mitigate wildfire risks in partnership with CAL FIRE, and providing a public engagement process,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “Collectively we will be preserving natural and cultural resources in this popular recreational area and protecting public safety.”

Auburn SRA has seen an increase of 300,000 visitors in 1995 to more than a million visitors today, despite the lack of developed recreation facilities. Regional population growth is anticipated to continue to grow by 30% by 2040, which will increase the problems of lack of parking, unsafe parking practices, unauthorized camping, difficulty for first responders getting in and out of the SRA, wildfire risk and other unauthorized uses that damage resources.

It is important to point out that the general plan does not authorize immediate construction of any new facility. Individual facilities would require site-specific planning, public involvement, and environmental review. Facilities would be developed over time in response to demand, resources, and other considerations. The preliminary general plan identifies specific requirements for this future facility development including fuel reduction around new facilities, ensuring adequate ingress/egress, evacuation planning, coordinating with fire agencies, public involvement and specific to any proposed camping facility, evaluation of whether campfire use should be allowed at all.

The California State Park and Recreation Commission was created as the State Park Commission in 1927. The Commission has specific authorities and responsibilities which are defined in California law. Nine voting commissioners are appointed to staggered four-year terms. The governor appoints the voting members of the Commission; these appointments require Senate confirmation. The Speaker of the Assembly and the Senate Rules Committee each appoint one non-voting ex-officio member to the Commission.

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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.