New national broadcast markets have just been announced as Backcountry Pictures and KQED-TV present California Forever, a two-part PBS television special that tells the story of California’s state parks from Yosemite in 1864 to the present day.

Together, the two one-hour programs remind viewers of the importance of California’s state parks as well as their priceless legacy, according to a news release. California Forever is now scheduled to air on PBS’s WORLD on Oct. 12 and throughout the nation in September and October. The special will air in 43 states. For local air dates, check local listings; for a complete air date schedule, visit http://cal4ever.com/2012/07/13/air-dates/.

Written and directed by Academy Award-nominee David Vassar, California Forever, was produced by Vassar and Sally Kaplan. The idea for the film was sparked after watching the battle between conservationists and developers over the proposed Orange County Toll Road which would have paved over a portion of San Onofre State Beach. Vassar and Kaplan felt compelled to tell the story of California’s state parks as a way to remind viewers of these parks and their value.

“Although there have been challenges with park closures and unreported funding, the current issues will be resolved and fade but the scenic lands and historic sites that state parks protect must never be forgotten,” said Vassar. “In California Forever, we hope to encourage viewers to explore state parks in their neighborhoods and across California, to remind them of the priceless legacy that parks protect and to honor the individuals and groups who fought to preserve them.”

The film highlights the discovery and creation of California’s state parks system and celebrates the individuals and groups whose passion and commitment helped preserve and protect them for future generations. It takes viewers on a scenic, cultural and historical tour of California’s state parks highlighting the people, key events and locales that made California history.

The film presents the very real challenges that state parks are currently facing in California. Among these are habitat destruction by overuse, protection of native species at the expense of recreation, reclaiming industrial brown fields to create new parks in dense urban areas, establishing historic sites that commemorate people and events from diverse cultures and park closures.