NAACP wants Jackson's Neverland Ranch to become state park

As home to pop legend Michael Jackson, Neverland Ranch housed a working locomotive, a Ferris wheel and other amusement park rides, a 10,000-volume library and a zoo.

But could the opulent Santa Barbara County estate become home to California's newest state park?

A resolution is in the works to order state parks officials to study converting the roughly 2,600-acre property into a state park. The state NAACP is backing the idea, and a lawmaker has signaled he is on board to carry the legislation.

"I think Michael's history is world history and I think it would become the No. 1 attraction for the state parks if we could pull it off," said state NAACP President Alice Huffman, who also serves on the state Parks Commission.

Huffman said in addition to celebrating Jackson's contributions to music and pop culture, Neverland would join Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park as state parks honoring African Americans. Those factors, she said, would make Neverland a "great, great addition to the state parks system."

Assemblyman Mike Davis, who chairs of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media, said while details of the resolution still need to be worked out, he thought the idea made "great sense" when it was first proposed to him at a recent reception.

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