The Sacramento Bee's investigation of California state parks funding has been recognized with a McClatchy Co. President's Award for journalism excellence.
The Bee was one of four McClatchy newspapers receiving awards for investigative work in 2012.
The stories by Bee reporters Matt Weiser, Kevin Yamamura and Jon Ortiz revealed that the state Department of Parks and Recreation was hiding funds and offering secret buyouts in the midst of massive cutbacks. The stories showed how fallible budgeting can be when thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in services are on the line.
"This is the kind of work that only a dedicated newspaper with a staff that knows its beats can deliver," the judges said. "This is high-caliber work that truly serves the public's interest."
The stories are available online at www.sacbee.com/parks.