Tesla Park Critical Habitat Corridor

Spring in Tesla Park

One of the important features of Tesla Park is its location.�  All of Tesla Park is located in eastern Alameda County.�  The western most boundary of the park is at the 6.5 mile mark from the Concannon/Tesla Road intersection in Livermore and is actually closer than Del Valle Regional Park to Livermore.�  A portion of the park land is on the western watershed and drains into the Arroyo Seco.�  East Bay Regional Park District has also identified Tesla Park as an area of interest for future park development.

Tesla Park is also readily accessible toÃ? San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties in the Central Valley along Corral Hollow Road.Ã?  Tesla ParkÃ? matches the State Parks’ priority park and recreation facility targets and its objective to provide more low impact nature parks for Central Valley residents.

Tesla Park’sÃ? central location that provides broad access to a low impact historic and nature park within a native habitat and wildland settingÃ? makes its historic and natural resource diversity all the more important. Tesla ParkÃ? is a spectacularly beautiful park that is part of the East Bay and would expand needed park and preservation opportunities for Eastern Alameda County as well as the Central Valley.

Tesla Park project location relative to Central Valley and Corral Hollow/Tesla Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EBRPD included Tesla Park to its 2007 Master Plan, viagra dosage but at this time the State OHMV Division still is trying to expand Carnegie SVRA into Tesla Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more about the important recreation goals Tesla Park serves, see the following links:

Return to main Tesla Park page.

 

Tesla Park in spring

This rich array of historical, tooth
cultural, practitioner
biological and scenic resources in Tesla Park can serve a range of preservation, recreation and education purposes.�  Consistent with natural resource protection, low-impact non-OHV recreation, such as interpretive history and nature trails, hiking trails, wildlife viewing, bird watching and horseback riding could be established along with dedicated preservation areas. Tesla Park can also provide outdoor environmental and historical education for area k-12 schools and serve as a field research location for colleges and universities. Protection of Tesla Park matches the charter of East Bay Regional Parks District and supports the objective to establish park and hiking access around the Tri-Valley metropolitan area.�  EBRPD has recognized the importance of Tesla Park by adding it as an area of interest to its Master plan map.

Tesla Park directly meets State Parks and Natural Resource Agency objectives. Tesla Park as a non-OHV park can serve the State Parks Department priority for low impact recreation as documented in the 2008 Outdoor Recreation Report, including the objective to provide additional nature parks to serve the Central Valley. Tesla Park matches the State Natural Resource Agency purpose to conserve treasured lands and valuable natural resources, including Blue Oak woodlands.

Because of unique range of historical, cultural, scenic, habitat and biological resources contained in Tesla Park, and the destructive impacts of Off -Highway� Vehicle (OHV) use, including at the adjacent Carnegie (State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA), Friends of Tesla Parkis working� to develop Tesla� Park separate from Carnegie SVRA with no off-highway motor vehicle use. Some of the features that Tesla Park could potentially include that can be designed to protect and preserve the landscape are:

Tesla Park and Mount Diablo vista

  • Preservation and interpretive development of the historic Tesla town site andÃ? the surrounding village sites andÃ? mines
  • Hiking trail system and interpretive development throughout park to historical sites, Native American cultural sites, wildlife/plant viewing, and scenic routes
  • Link to other Tri-Valley Parks and hiking trails
  • Dedicated preserves for rare and endangered wildlife and plants
  • Picnic sites and scenic points
  • Hiking , equestrian andÃ? bike trail between Livermore Valley and San Joaquin Valley along the roadway

While there are budget and inter/intra-agency challenges to protect Tesla Park from OHV use, there are also viable options to explore: transfer to an appropriate State Parks unit with consistent management objectives that will protect Tesla�s varied and abundant resources; joint management with East Bay Regional Parks as has been implemented at portions of Mount Diablo State Park; transfer to Easy Bay Regional Parks District; cooperative planning with Alameda and San Joaquin counties to establish a recreation and preservation corridor; public-private partnerships to provide reimbursement and development funds; and more.

Any of these opportunities requires a broad resource management view of the Tesla Park land and the region. In spite of regulatory requirements to protect resources, the OHMVR Divisionâ��s purpose and objectives are incompatible with such a view.�  We are not working against Carnegie SVRA, but we are working to� protect Tesla Park.�  That is why it is time to pursue more viable and appropriate, and likely more cost-effective, alternatives for the Tesla Park land.

Development of the park under any alternative� operational and management scenario will take time given limited budget resources.�  But the Tesla Park land is already public land owned by the State and under the control of the the State Parks department.�  The first step to making Tesla Park become a reality� is� to redesignate its intended use from a Off-Highway Motor Vehicle site to a low impact non-OHV park and preserve.

This is a great opportunity for our communities and region.�  We must first protect and preserve the Tesla Park land; then we can begin the process to establish the appropriate use and management plan that ensures this unique and special� native landscape is protected for for all today and in the furture.

See the EBRPD 2007 Master Plan map below:

EBRPD included Tesla Park to its 2007 Master Plan, but at this time the State OHMV Division still is trying to expand Carnegie SVRA into Tesla Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to main Tesla Park page.

Head of Corral Hollow Canyon in Tesla Park

In addition to its rich history, rehabilitation
Tesla Park has rich natural� resources. � Tesla Park is located in the upland Coastal Mountain Range between Mount Diablo and Mount Hamilton.�  As part of the Diablo Range from the north and Mount Hamilton Range from the south, Tesla Park is an important link in the preservations efforts in the region.�  The area is primarily Blue Oak woodland, mountain savannah grassland, scrub sage and riparian woodlands with scenic ridge tops and dramatic canyons feeding into Corral Hollow Creek which drains into the San Joaquin River system.�  Tesla Park includes land along the Tri-Valley watershed and a portion of the park drains into the Arroyo Seco and Alameda County.�  Its ridge tops provide commanding views of the Central Valley, Sierras, Mount Diablo and the southern coast range toward Mount Hamilton. In its own right it is truly a naturally scenic area that should be preserved.Tesla Park supports an unexpectedly wide range of sensitive wildlife and plant species, many of

Mitchell Ravine in Tesla Park

which are threatened, rare and managed such as California Red Legged Frog, Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog, California Tiger Salamander, Western Spadefoot Toad and Tule Elk.�  The level of biological diversity is unique with 50 LISTED species documented on site and over 80 more LISTED species expected� based on known habitats and sightings on neighboring property. The area, for example, is considered to support one of the most diverse vertebrate populations in the region and has been a study area for UC Berkeley and other universities since the 1940s.

The geologic zone where the Tesla coal mines were located is special to paleontologists as well. Referred to as the Tesla Formation, the coal, sand and clay deposits were laid down during the Eocene when the area was a tropical forest. Numerous hardwood and evergreen fossils dating back millions of years have been found at Tesla and are housed at the UCB Paleontology Museum. One specimen, a palm frond fossil, is dated at 45-50 million years old.

Blue Oak woodlands on Tesla Park

There are many factors that promote the biological and natural resource diversity in Tesla Park and the Corral Hollow Canyon. Tesla Park is in the transition area between several biotic zones where many species exist at the outmost extent of their range.�  Tesla Park is in the large Corral Hollow Creek watershed, the primary water source feeding its plant and wildlife diversity. As part of the Diablo Range, Tesla Park serves as a critical east-west and north-south habitat corridor along the upland Coastal Mountain Range. Tesla Park represents a large intact native landscape and wild land that has been softly touched, except for ranching and mining activity of over 100 years ago.

Historic Tesla town site today

The important natural diversity of Tesla Park has been identified by others and land use in the Corral Hollow Canyon is moving toward preservation not development. The California Native Plant Society has designated Tesla Park area as one of its Botanical Priority Protection Areas. � Every conservation priority for Zone 10 of the East Alameda County Conservation Strategy is contained within Tesla Park.�  The State Natural Resources Agency has identified Blue Oak woodlands, of which Tesla Park is largely comprised, as one of its targeted preservation objectives. The Conservation Lands Network has identified the Tesla Park area as a critical linkage habitat corridor.�  Two private landowners participate in the State Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Private Lands Management Program for a Tule Elk herd. Tesla Park is within the impact area for the Altamont Pass Wind Energy Resource Area.�  The Department of Fish and Game and Contra Costa Water District have established conservation easements in the Corral Hollow Canyon.�  Several private conservation easements have been established in the� Tesla Park/Corral Hollow Canyon area.

For more about the important natural resources conservation goals Tesla Park serves,� see the following links:

Return� to main Tesla Park page.

Head of Corral Hollow Canyon in Tesla Park

In addition to its rich history, sick
Tesla Park has rich natural� resources. � Tesla Park is located in the upland Coastal Mountain Range between Mount Diablo and Mount Hamilton.�  As part of the Diablo Range from the north and Mount Hamilton Range from the south, medical
Tesla Park is an important link in the preservations efforts in the region.�  The area is primarily Blue Oak woodland, diagnosis
mountain savannah grassland, scrub sage and riparian woodlands with scenic ridge tops and dramatic canyons feeding into Corral Hollow Creek which drains into the San Joaquin River system.�  Tesla Park includes land along the Tri-Valley watershed and a portion of the park drains into the Arroyo Seco and Alameda County.�  Its ridge tops provide commanding views of the Central Valley, Sierras, Mount Diablo and the southern coast range toward Mount Hamilton. In its own right it is truly a naturally scenic area that should be preserved. Tesla Park supports an unexpectedly wide range of sensitive wildlife and plant species, many of

Mitchell Ravine in Tesla Park

which are threatened, rare and managed such as California Red Legged Frog, Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog, California Tiger Salamander, Western Spadefoot Toad and Tule Elk.�  The level of biological diversity is unique with 50 LISTED species documented on site and over 80 more LISTED species expected� based on known habitats and sightings on neighboring property. The area, for example, is considered to support one of the most diverse vertebrate populations in the region and has been a study area for UC Berkeley and other universities since the 1940s.The geologic zone where the Tesla coal mines were located is special to paleontologists as well. Referred to as the Tesla Formation, the coal, sand and clay deposits were laid down during the Eocene when the area was a tropical forest. Numerous hardwood and evergreen fossils dating back millions of years have been found at Tesla and are housed at the UCB Paleontology Museum. One specimen, a palm frond fossil, is dated at 45-50 million years old.

Blue Oak woodlands on Tesla Park

There are many factors that promote the biological and natural resource diversity in Tesla Park and the Corral Hollow Canyon. Tesla Park is in the transition area between several biotic zones where many species exist at the outmost extent of their range.�  Tesla Park is in the large Corral Hollow Creek watershed, the primary water source feeding its plant and wildlife diversity. As part of the Diablo Range, Tesla Park serves as a critical east-west and north-south habitat corridor along the upland Coastal Mountain Range. Tesla Park represents a large intact native landscape and wild land that has been softly touched, except for ranching and mining activity of over 100 years ago.

Historic Tesla town site today

The important natural diversity of Tesla Park has been identified by others and land use in the Corral Hollow Canyon is moving toward preservation not development. The East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society has designated Tesla Park area as one of its Botanical Priority Protection Areas. � Every conservation priority for Zone 10 of the East Alameda County Conservation Strategy is contained within Tesla Park.�  The State Natural Resources Agency has identified Blue Oak woodlands, of which Tesla Park is largely comprised, as one of its targeted preservation objectives. The Conservation Lands Network has identified the Tesla Park area as a critical linkage habitat corridor.�  Two private landowners participate in the State Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Private Lands Management Program for a Tule Elk herd. Tesla Park is within the impact area for the Altamont Pass Wind Energy Resource Area.�  The Department of Fish and Game and Contra Costa Water District have established conservation easements in the Corral Hollow Canyon.�  Several private conservation easements have been established in the� Tesla Park/Corral Hollow Canyon area.

For more about the important natural resources conservation goals Tesla Park serves,� see the following links:

Return� to main Tesla Park page.
Click here for the Friends of Tesla Park Information Packet.

Following are links to more detailed information related to� Tesla Park:

 
Click here for the Friends of Tesla Park Information Packet.

Following are links to more detailed information related to� Tesla Park:

 
Click here for the Friends of Tesla Park Information Packet.

Following are links to more detailed information related to� Tesla Park:

 
Click here for the Friends of Tesla Park Information PacketÃ? (in Dropbox click on “Copy link to this page”).

Following are links to more detailed information related to� Tesla Park:

 
Click here for the Friends of Tesla Park Information PacketÃ? (in Dropbox click on “Copy link to this page”).

Following are links to more detailed information related to� Tesla Park:

 

Tesla Park in spring

This rich array of historical, prescription cultural, viagra
biological and scenic resources in Tesla Park can serve a range of preservation, caries
recreation and education purposes.�  Consistent with natural resource protection, low-impact non-OHV recreation, such as interpretive history and nature trails, hiking trails, wildlife viewing, bird watching and horseback riding could be established along with dedicated preservation areas. Tesla Park can also provide outdoor environmental and historical education for area K-12 schools and serve as a field research location for colleges and universities. Protection of Tesla Park matches the charter of East Bay Regional Parks District and supports the objective to establish park and hiking access around the Tri-Valley metropolitan area.�  EBRPD has recognized the importance of Tesla Park by adding it as an area of interest to its Master plan map.

Tesla Park directly meets State Parks and Natural Resource Agency objectives. Tesla Park as a non-OHV park can serve the State Parks Department priority for low impact recreation as documented in the 2008 Outdoor Recreation Report, including the objective to provide additional nature parks to serve the Central Valley. Tesla Park matches the State Natural Resource Agency purpose to conserve treasured lands and valuable natural resources, including Blue Oak woodlands.

Because of unique range of historical, cultural, scenic, habitat and biological resources contained in Tesla Park, and the destructive impacts of Off -Highway� Vehicle (OHV) use, including at the adjacent Carnegie (State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA), Friends of Tesla Park is working� to develop Tesla� Park separate from Carnegie SVRA with no off-highway motor vehicle use. Some of the features that Tesla Park could potentially include that can be designed to protect and preserve the landscape are:

Tesla Park and Mount Diablo vista

  • Preservation and interpretive development of the historic Tesla town site andÃ? the surrounding village sites andÃ? mines
  • Hiking trail system and interpretive development throughout park to historical sites, Native American cultural sites, wildlife/plant viewing, and scenic routes
  • Link to other Tri-Valley Parks and hiking trails
  • Dedicated preserves for rare and endangered wildlife and plants
  • Picnic sites and scenic points
  • Hiking , equestrian andÃ? bike trail between Livermore Valley and San Joaquin Valley along the roadway

While there are budget and inter/intra-agency challenges to protect Tesla Park from OHV use, there are also viable options to explore: transfer to an appropriate State Parks unit with consistent management objectives that will protect Tesla�s varied and abundant resources; joint management with East Bay Regional Parks as has been implemented at portions of Mount Diablo State Park; transfer to Easy Bay Regional Parks District; cooperative planning with Alameda and San Joaquin counties to establish a recreation and preservation corridor; public-private partnerships to provide reimbursement and development funds; and more.

Any of these opportunities requires a broad resource management view of the Tesla Park land and the region. In spite of regulatory requirements to protect resources, the OHMVR Divisionâ��s purpose and objectives are incompatible with such a view.�  We are not working against Carnegie SVRA, but we are working to� protect Tesla Park.�  That is why it is time to pursue more viable and appropriate, and likely more cost-effective, alternatives for the Tesla Park land.

Development of the park under any alternative� operational and management scenario will take time given limited budget resources.�  But the Tesla Park land is already public land owned by the State and under the control of the the State Parks department.�  The first step to making Tesla Park become a reality� is� to redesignate its intended use from a Off-Highway Motor Vehicle site to a low impact non-OHV park and preserve.

This is a great opportunity for our communities and region.�  We must first protect and preserve the Tesla Park land; then we can begin the process to establish the appropriate use and management plan that ensures this unique and special� native landscape is protected for for all today and in the furture.

See the EBRPD 2007 Master Plan map below:

EBRPD included Tesla Park to its 2007 Master Plan, but at this time the State OHMV Division still is trying to expand Carnegie SVRA into Tesla Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to main Tesla Park page.

Tesla Park in spring

This rich array of historical, this
cultural, medicine
biological and scenic resources in Tesla Park can serve a range of preservation, recreation and education purposes.�  Consistent with natural resource protection, low-impact non-OHV recreation, such as interpretive history and nature trails, hiking trails, wildlife viewing, bird watching and horseback riding could be established along with dedicated preservation areas. Tesla Park can also provide outdoor environmental and historical education for area K-12 schools and serve as a field research location for colleges and universities. Protection of Tesla Park matches the charter of East Bay Regional Parks District and supports the objective to establish park and hiking access around the Tri-Valley metropolitan area.�  EBRPD has recognized the importance of Tesla Park by adding it as an area of interest to its Master plan map.

Tesla Park directly meets State Parks and Natural Resource Agency objectives. Tesla Park as a non-OHV park can serve the State Parks Department priority for low impact recreation as documented in the 2008 Outdoor Recreation Report, including the objective to provide additional nature parks to serve the Central Valley. Tesla Park matches the State Natural Resource Agency purpose to conserve treasured lands and valuable natural resources, including Blue Oak woodlands.

Because of unique range of historical, cultural, scenic, habitat and biological resources contained in Tesla Park, and the destructive impacts of Off -Highway� Vehicle (OHV) use, including at the adjacent Carnegie (State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA), Friends of Tesla Park is working� to develop Tesla� Park separate from Carnegie SVRA with no off-highway motor vehicle use. Some of the features that Tesla Park could potentially include that can be designed to protect and preserve the landscape are:

Tesla Park and Mount Diablo vista

  • Preservation and interpretive development of the historic Tesla town site andÃ? the surrounding village sites andÃ? mines
  • Hiking trail system and interpretive development throughout park to historical and cultural sites, wildlife/plant viewing, and scenic routes
  • Link to other Tri-Valley Parks and hiking trails
  • Dedicated preserves for rare and endangered wildlife and plants
  • Picnic sites and scenic points
  • Hiking , equestrian andÃ? bike trail between Livermore Valley and San Joaquin Valley along the roadway

While there are budget and inter/intra-agency challenges to protect Tesla Park from OHV use, there are also viable options to explore: transfer to an appropriate State Parks unit with consistent management objectives that will protect Tesla�s varied and abundant resources; joint management with East Bay Regional Parks as has been implemented at portions of Mount Diablo State Park; transfer to Easy Bay Regional Parks District; cooperative planning with Alameda and San Joaquin counties to establish a recreation and preservation corridor; public-private partnerships to provide reimbursement and development funds; and more.

Any of these opportunities requires a broad resource management view of the Tesla Park land and the region. In spite of regulatory requirements to protect resources, the OHMVR Divisionâ��s purpose and objectives are incompatible with such a view.�  We are not working against Carnegie SVRA, but we are working to� protect Tesla Park.�  That is why it is time to pursue more viable and appropriate, and likely more cost-effective, alternatives for the Tesla Park land.

Development of the park under any alternative� operational and management scenario will take time given limited budget resources.�  But the Tesla Park land is already public land owned by the State and under the control of the the State Parks department.�  The first step to making Tesla Park become a reality� is� to redesignate its intended use from a Off-Highway Motor Vehicle site to a low impact non-OHV park and preserve.

This is a great opportunity for our communities and region.�  We must first protect and preserve the Tesla Park land; then we can begin the process to establish the appropriate use and management plan that ensures this unique and special� native landscape is protected for for all today and in the furture.

See the EBRPD 2007 Master Plan map below:

EBRPD included Tesla Park to its 2007 Master Plan, but at this time the State OHMV Division still is trying to expand Carnegie SVRA into Tesla Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to main Tesla Park page.
By John Icanberry

When a government agency and special interests talk about public funds as ââ?¬Å?our moneyââ?¬Â, generic the hair on the back of your neck should stand on end.Ã?  When they justify a secret slush fund of $33.5 million as ââ?¬Å?our moneyââ?¬Â, advice
the alarm bells should sound.�  Welcome to the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division of the State Parks Department.

On July 20, information pills
2012 it was disclosed that the State Parks Department had a secret fund of $54 million, of which $33.5 million was in a State Parks OHMVR Division secret fund.�  The widespread condemnation of the Parks Department scandal is justified.

What is shocking is the off-highway vehicle (OHV) lobby suggestion that the OHMVR Divisionâ��s secret slush fund was justified because of the OHMVR Divisionâ��s separate funding and organization.�  Nothing could be further from the truth or better demonstrate the need for a wholesale overhaul of the OHMVR Division.

In 1971, the off-highway vehicle program was established in State Parks, developing into the separate OHMVR Division with a separate appointed Commission, trust fund and dedicated funding stream. Fuel tax transfers make up the vast majority of its budget, with park entrance fees and OHV ââ?¬Å?stickerââ?¬Â fees a distant second. Because of its separate organization and funding and powerful lobby, the OHMVR Division, subsidized by tax dollars, evolved into little more than an extension of the OHV industry catering to OHV users.Ã?  OHMVR operated as an insular rogue organization, not an accountable public agency.Ã?  Part of the tax payer subsidized trust fund became a slush fund to be hidden from elected officials and taxpayers.

The OHV lobby attempt to justify the OHMVR secret fund as ââ?¬Å?their moneyââ?¬Â is wrong on several fronts.

First, the OHMVR Division is not a ââ?¬Å?pay to playââ?¬Â system. Rather 70%-80% of the OHMVR Budget has been from fuel tax transfers, NOT park entrance or sticker fees. Further, 87%-91% of the fuel tax transfers have been paid by people using street legal vehicles to drive on dirt roads to picnic, camp, fish or hike, NOT by people who ride motorcycles, ATVs or UTVs.Ã?  This long identified misallocation of tax dollars was most recently quantified in a 2006 Fuel Tax Study.Ã?  The OHMVR Division and lobby perpetuate the funding myth to conceal the huge tax subsidies to the OHMVR Division from the general public.

Second, keeping two sets of books is fraudulent and can never be justified or tolerated. Attempting to justify hidden public funds shows the arrogance endemic in the OHMVR Division.�  Unfortunately, discovery of a slush fund is not entirely a surprise.�  Thirty years of environmental destruction and disregard of state law at Carnegie SVRA near where I live demonstrate an organizational culture that apparently would not think twice about secreting away public funds.

Third, excuses such as it is ââ?¬Å?our money, or ââ?¬Å?you took it from us in the past and you might take it from us in the futureââ?¬Â reflect a dangerous attitude that the OHMVR Division is not accountable to the public, even though it is primarily funded with public tax dollars.Ã?  Whether collected from taxes or fees, all OHMVR funds are public money, not the private kitty of OHV users.

The Legislature and Governor – not OHV users, lobbyists or staff – determine how public funds are allocated through the public budget process. Had the Legislature known about the $33.5 million secret fund it may have adopted a modified OHMVR reauthorization in 2008.Ã?  It might have passed a different budget two months ago providing more funding for State Parks to complete long deferred maintenance.Ã?  The Governor may have signed a different budget for 2012/2013 not deleting the reallocation of excess OHMVR funds to State Parks under the Sustainable Parks Plan.Ã?  Or perhaps our elected officials would have said ââ?¬Å?noââ?¬Â to OHMVR altogether and funded education.

Truth and transparency are cornerstones to a well-functioning government.�  The OHMVR secret fund and insular bureaucracy corrupted that foundation.

Not only should those responsible be fired and the secret funds taken away from OHMVR, but the OHMVR Division needs to beÃ?  restructured or even eliminated as a division and made a unit of State Parks. The Governor and Legislature shouldÃ? require full compliance with environmental laws at all SVRAs, correct the long documented OHMVR/State Parks funding inequity, appoint a new State Parks Director with the integrity and guts to stand up to the OHV lobby, and ââ?¬â?? in addition to a financial audit – conduct a top to bottom organizational re-evaluation of the OHMVR Division boondoggle.

If there is a silver lining from the OHMVR secret slush fund scandal it is that OHMVR Division organization and funding changes that should have happened years ago may now finally be addressed.

 

John Icanberry is a retired USFWS fisheries biologist from Livermore.� 
By John Icanberry

When a government agency and special interests talk about public funds as ââ?¬Å?our moneyââ?¬Â, shop
the hair on the back of your neck should stand on end.Ã?  When they justify a secret slush fund of $33.5 million as ââ?¬Å?our moneyââ?¬Â, noun
the alarm bells should sound.�  Welcome to the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division of the State Parks Department.

On July 20, 2012 it was disclosed that the State Parks Department had a secret fund of $54 million, of which $33.5 million was in a State Parks OHMVR Division secret fund.�  The widespread condemnation of the Parks Department scandal is justified.

What is shocking is the off-highway vehicle (OHV) lobby suggestion that the OHMVR Divisionâ��s secret slush fund was justified because of the OHMVR Divisionâ��s separate funding and organization.�  Nothing could be further from the truth or better demonstrate the need for a wholesale overhaul of the OHMVR Division.

In 1971, the off-highway vehicle program was established in State Parks, developing into the separate OHMVR Division with a separate appointed Commission, trust fund and dedicated funding stream. Fuel tax transfers make up the vast majority of its budget, with park entrance fees and OHV ââ?¬Å?stickerââ?¬Â fees a distant second. Because of its separate organization and funding and powerful lobby, the OHMVR Division, subsidized by tax dollars, evolved into little more than an extension of the OHV industry catering to OHV users.Ã?  OHMVR operated as an insular rogue organization, not an accountable public agency.Ã?  Part of the tax payer subsidized trust fund became a slush fund to be hidden from elected officials and taxpayers.

The OHV lobby attempt to justify the OHMVR secret fund as ââ?¬Å?their moneyââ?¬Â is wrong on several fronts.

First, the OHMVR Division is not a ââ?¬Å?pay to playââ?¬Â system. Rather 70%-80% of the OHMVR Budget has been from fuel tax transfers, NOT park entrance or sticker fees. Further, 87%-91% of the fuel tax transfers have been paid by people using street legal vehicles to drive on dirt roads to picnic, camp, fish or hike, NOT by people who ride motorcycles, ATVs or UTVs.Ã?  This long identified misallocation of tax dollars was most recently quantified in a 2006 Fuel Tax Study.Ã?  The OHMVR Division and lobby perpetuate the funding myth to conceal the huge tax subsidies to the OHMVR Division from the general public.

Second, keeping two sets of books is fraudulent and can never be justified or tolerated. Attempting to justify hidden public funds shows the arrogance endemic in the OHMVR Division.�  Unfortunately, discovery of a slush fund is not entirely a surprise.�  Thirty years of environmental destruction and disregard of state law at Carnegie SVRA near where I live demonstrate an organizational culture that apparently would not think twice about secreting away public funds.

Third, excuses such as it is ââ?¬Å?our money, or ââ?¬Å?you took it from us in the past and you might take it from us in the futureââ?¬Â reflect a dangerous attitude that the OHMVR Division is not accountable to the public, even though it is primarily funded with public tax dollars.Ã?  Whether collected from taxes or fees, all OHMVR funds are public money, not the private kitty of OHV users.

The Legislature and Governor – not OHV users, lobbyists or staff – determine how public funds are allocated through the public budget process. Had the Legislature known about the $33.5 million secret fund it may have adopted a modified OHMVR reauthorization in 2008.Ã?  It might have passed a different budget two months ago providing more funding for State Parks to complete long deferred maintenance.Ã?  The Governor may have signed a different budget for 2012/2013 not deleting the reallocation of excess OHMVR funds to State Parks under the Sustainable Parks Plan.Ã?  Or perhaps our elected officials would have said ââ?¬Å?noââ?¬Â to OHMVR altogether and funded education.

Truth and transparency are cornerstones to a well-functioning government.�  The OHMVR secret fund and insular bureaucracy corrupted that foundation.

Not only should those responsible be fired and the secret funds taken away from OHMVR, but the OHMVR Division needs to be drastically restructured or even eliminated. The Governor and Legislature should immediately require full compliance with environmental laws at all SVRAs, correct the long documented OHMVR/State Parks funding inequity, appoint a new State Parks Director with the integrity and guts to stand up to the OHV lobby, and ââ?¬â?? in addition to a financial audit – conduct a top to bottom organizational re-evaluation of the OHMVR Division boondoggle.

If there is a silver lining from the OHMVR secret slush fund scandal it is that OHMVR Division organization and funding changes that should have happened years ago may now finally be addressed.

 

John Icanberry is a retired USFWS fisheries biologist from Livermore.� 
By John Icanberry

When a government agency and special interests talk about public funds as ââ?¬Å?our moneyââ?¬Â, Syphilis
the hair on the back of your neck should stand on end.Ã?  When they justify a secret slush fund of $33.5 million as ââ?¬Å?our moneyââ?¬Â, the alarm bells should sound.Ã?  Welcome to the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division of the State Parks Department.

On July 20, 2012 it was disclosed that the State Parks Department had a secret fund of $54 million, of which $33.5 million was in a State Parks OHMVR Division secret fund.�  The widespread condemnation of the Parks Department scandal is justified.

What is shocking is the off-highway vehicle (OHV) lobby suggestion that the OHMVR Divisionâ��s secret slush fund was justified because of the OHMVR Divisionâ��s separate funding and organization.�  Nothing could be further from the truth or better demonstrate the need for a wholesale overhaul of the OHMVR Division.

In 1971, the off-highway vehicle program was established in State Parks, developing into the separate OHMVR Division with a separate appointed Commission, trust fund and dedicated funding stream. Fuel tax transfers make up the vast majority of its budget, with park entrance fees and OHV ââ?¬Å?stickerââ?¬Â fees a distant second. Because of its separate organization and funding and powerful lobby, the OHMVR Division, subsidized by tax dollars, evolved into little more than an extension of the OHV industry catering to OHV users.Ã?  OHMVR operated as an insular rogue organization, not an accountable public agency.Ã?  Part of the tax payer subsidized trust fund became a slush fund to be hidden from elected officials and taxpayers.

The OHV lobby attempt to justify the OHMVR secret fund as ââ?¬Å?their moneyââ?¬Â is wrong on several fronts.

First, the OHMVR Division is not a ââ?¬Å?pay to playââ?¬Â system. Rather 70%-80% of the OHMVR Budget has been from fuel tax transfers, NOT park entrance or sticker fees. Further, 87%-91% of the fuel tax transfers have been paid by people using street legal vehicles to drive on dirt roads to picnic, camp, fish or hike, NOT by people who ride motorcycles, ATVs or UTVs.Ã?  This long identified misallocation of tax dollars was most recently quantified in a 2006 Fuel Tax Study.Ã?  The OHMVR Division and lobby perpetuate the funding myth to conceal the huge tax subsidies to the OHMVR Division from the general public.

Second, keeping two sets of books is fraudulent and can never be justified or tolerated. Attempting to justify hidden public funds shows the arrogance endemic in the OHMVR Division.�  Unfortunately, discovery of a slush fund is not entirely a surprise.�  Thirty years of environmental destruction and disregard of state law at Carnegie SVRA near where I live demonstrate an organizational culture that apparently would not think twice about secreting away public funds.

Third, excuses such as it is ââ?¬Å?our money, or ââ?¬Å?you took it from us in the past and you might take it from us in the futureââ?¬Â reflect a dangerous attitude that the OHMVR Division is not accountable to the public, even though it is primarily funded with public tax dollars.Ã?  Whether collected from taxes or fees, all OHMVR funds are public money, not the private kitty of OHV users.

The Legislature and Governor – not OHV users, lobbyists or staff – determine how public funds are allocated through the public budget process. Had the Legislature known about the $33.5 million secret fund it may have adopted a modified OHMVR reauthorization in 2008.Ã?  It might have passed a different budget two months ago providing more funding for State Parks to complete long deferred maintenance.Ã?  The Governor may have signed a different budget for 2012/2013 not deleting the reallocation of excess OHMVR funds to State Parks under the Sustainable Parks Plan.Ã?  Or perhaps our elected officials would have said ââ?¬Å?noââ?¬Â to OHMVR altogether and funded education.

Truth and transparency are cornerstones to a well-functioning government.�  The OHMVR secret fund and insular bureaucracy corrupted that foundation.

Not only should those responsible be fired and the secret funds taken away from OHMVR, but the OHMVR Division needs to be drastically restructured or even eliminated. The Governor and Legislature should immediately require full compliance with environmental laws at all SVRAs, correct the long documented OHMVR/State Parks funding inequity, appoint a new State Parks Director with the integrity and guts to stand up to the OHV lobby, and ââ?¬â?? in addition to a financial audit – conduct a top to bottom organizational re-evaluation of the OHMVR Division boondoggle.

If there is a silver lining from the OHMVR secret slush fund scandal it is that OHMVR Division organization and funding changes that should have happened years ago may now finally be addressed.

 

John Icanberry is a retired USFWS fisheries biologist from Livermore.�  He is on the steering committee of Friends of Tesla Park.
By John Icanberry

When a government agency and special interests talk about public funds as ââ?¬Å?our moneyââ?¬Â, viagra 100mg
the hair on the back of your neck should stand on end.Ã?  When they justify a secret slush fund of $33.5 million as ââ?¬Å?our moneyââ?¬Â, check
the alarm bells should sound.�  Welcome to the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division of the State Parks Department.

On July 20, there
2012 it was disclosed that the State Parks Department had a secret fund of $54 million, of which $33.5 million was in a State Parks OHMVR Division secret fund.�  The widespread condemnation of the Parks Department scandal is justified.What is shocking is the off-highway vehicle (OHV) lobby suggestion that the OHMVR Divisionâ��s secret slush fund was justified because of the OHMVR Divisionâ��s separate funding and organization.�  Nothing could be further from the truth or better demonstrate the need for a wholesale overhaul of the OHMVR Division.

 

In 1971, the off-highway vehicle program was established in State Parks, developing into the separate OHMVR Division with a separate appointed Commission, trust fund and dedicated funding stream. Fuel tax transfers make up the vast majority of its budget, with park entrance fees and OHV ââ?¬Å?stickerââ?¬Â fees a distant second. Because of its separate organization and funding and powerful lobby, the OHMVR Division, subsidized by tax dollars, evolved into little more than an extension of the OHV industry catering to OHV users.Ã?  OHMVR operated as an insular rogue organization, not an accountable public agency.Ã?  Part of the tax payer subsidized trust fund became a slush fund to be hidden from elected officials and taxpayers.

The OHV lobby attempt to justify the OHMVR secret fund as ââ?¬Å?their moneyââ?¬Â is wrong on several fronts.

First, the OHMVR Division is not a ââ?¬Å?pay to playââ?¬Â system. Rather 70%-80% of the OHMVR Budget has been from fuel tax transfers, NOT park entrance or sticker fees. Further, 87%-91% of the fuel tax transfers have been paid by people using street legal vehicles to drive on dirt roads to picnic, camp, fish or hike, NOT by people who ride motorcycles, ATVs or UTVs.Ã?  This long identified misallocation of tax dollars was most recently quantified in a 2006 Fuel Tax Study.Ã?  The OHMVR Division and lobby perpetuate the funding myth to conceal the huge tax subsidies to the OHMVR Division from the general public.

Second, keeping two sets of books is fraudulent and can never be justified or tolerated. Attempting to justify hidden public funds shows the arrogance endemic in the OHMVR Division.�  Unfortunately, discovery of a slush fund is not entirely a surprise.�  Thirty years of environmental destruction and disregard of state law at Carnegie SVRA near where I live demonstrate an organizational culture that apparently would not think twice about secreting away public funds.

 

Third, excuses such as it is ââ?¬Å?our money, or ââ?¬Å?you took it from us in the past and you might take it from us in the futureââ?¬Â reflect a dangerous attitude that the OHMVR Division is not accountable to the public, even though it is primarily funded with public tax dollars.Ã?  Whether collected from taxes or fees, all OHMVR funds are public money, not the private kitty of OHV users.

 

The Legislature and Governor – not OHV users, lobbyists or staff – determine how public funds are allocated through the public budget process. Had the Legislature known about the $33.5 million secret fund it may have adopted a modified OHMVR reauthorization in 2008.Ã?  It might have passed a different budget two months ago providing more funding for State Parks to complete long deferred maintenance.Ã?  The Governor may have signed a different budget for 2012/2013 not deleting the reallocation of excess OHMVR funds to State Parks under the Sustainable Parks Plan.Ã?  Or perhaps our elected officials would have said ââ?¬Å?noââ?¬Â to OHMVR altogether and funded education.

 

Truth and transparency are cornerstones to a well-functioning government.�  The OHMVR secret fund and insular bureaucracy corrupted that foundation.

 

Not only should those responsible be fired and the secret funds taken away from OHMVR, but the OHMVR Division needs to be drastically restructured or even eliminated. The Governor and Legislature should immediately require full compliance with environmental laws at all SVRAs, correct the long documented OHMVR/State Parks funding inequity, appoint a new State Parks Director with the integrity and guts to stand up to the OHV lobby, and ââ?¬â?? in addition to a financial audit – conduct a top to bottom organizational re-evaluation of the OHMVR Division boondoggle.

 

If there is a silver lining from the OHMVR secret slush fund scandal it is that OHMVR Division organization and funding changes that should have happened years ago may now finally be addressed.

 

 

John Icanberry is a retired USFWS fisheries biologist from Livermore.�  He is on the steering committee of Friends of Tesla Park, a group dedicated to establishing Tesla Park (www.teslapark.org) in Eastern Alameda County as a non-OHV use low impact recreation historic and natural resource park and preserve.
The following organizations support establishing Tesla Park as a non-OHV, skincare
low impact recreation historic and natural resource park and preserve:

Please email us at friendsofteslapark@gmail.com� if you would like to add your name or that of your organization to the growing list of� those that� want to SAVE Tesla Park.

 
The following organizations support establishing Tesla Park as a non-OHV, refractionist
low impact recreation historic and natural resource park and preserve:

Please email us at friendsofteslapark@gmail.com� if you would like to add your name or that of your organization to the growing list of� those that� want to SAVE Tesla Park.

 
The following organizations support establishing Tesla Park as a non-OHV, ampoule
low impact recreation historic and natural resource park and preserve:

Please email us at friendsofteslapark@gmail.com� if you would like to add your name or that of your organization to the growing list of� those that� want to SAVE Tesla Park.

 
The following organizations support establishing Tesla Park as a non-OHV, try low impact recreation historic and natural resource park and preserve:

Please email us at friendsofteslapark@gmail.com� if you would like to add your name or that of your organization to the growing list of� those that� want to SAVE Tesla Park.

 
The following organizations support establishing Tesla Park as a non-OHV, adiposity
low impact recreation historic and natural resource park and preserve:

Please email us at friendsofteslapark@gmail.com� if you would like to add your name or that of your organization to the growing list of� those that� want to SAVE Tesla Park.

 

Tesla Park in spring

This rich array of historical, ed
cultural, physiotherapist
biological and scenic resources in Tesla Park can serve a range of preservation, recreation and education purposes.�  Consistent with natural resource protection, low-impact non-OHV recreation, such as interpretive history and nature trails, hiking trails, wildlife viewing, bird watching and horseback riding could be established along with dedicated preservation areas. Tesla Park can also provide outdoor environmental and historical education for area K-12 schools and serve as a field research location for colleges and universities. Protection of Tesla Park matches the charter of East Bay Regional Parks District and supports the objective to establish park and hiking access around the Tri-Valley metropolitan area.�  EBRPD has recognized the importance of Tesla Park by adding it as an area of interest to its Master plan map.

Tesla Park directly meets State Parks and Natural Resource Agency objectives. Tesla Park as a non-OHV park can serve the State Parks Department priority for low impact recreation as documented in the 2008 Outdoor Recreation Report, including the objective to provide additional nature parks to serve the Central Valley. Tesla Park matches the State Natural Resource Agency purpose to conserve treasured lands and valuable natural resources, including Blue Oak woodlands.

Because of unique range of historical, cultural, scenic, habitat and biological resources contained in Tesla Park, and the destructive impacts of Off -Highway� Vehicle (OHV) use, including at the adjacent Carnegie (State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA), Friends of Tesla Park is working� to develop Tesla� Park separate from Carnegie SVRA with no off-highway motor vehicle use. Some of the features that Tesla Park could potentially include that can be designed to protect and preserve the landscape are:

Tesla Park and Mount Diablo vista

  • Preservation and interpretive development of the historic Tesla town site andÃ? the surrounding village sites andÃ? mines
  • Hiking trail system and interpretive development throughout park to historical and cultural sites, wildlife/plant viewing, and scenic routes
  • Link to other Tri-Valley Parks and hiking trails
  • Dedicated preserves for rare and endangered wildlife and plants
  • Picnic sites and scenic points
  • Hiking , equestrian andÃ? bike trail between Livermore Valley and San Joaquin Valley along the roadway

While there are budget and inter/intra-agency challenges to protect Tesla Park from OHV use, there are also viable options to explore: transfer to an appropriate State Parks unit with consistent management objectives that will protect Tesla�s varied and abundant resources; joint management with East Bay Regional Parks as has been implemented at portions of Mount Diablo State Park; transfer to Easy Bay Regional Parks District; cooperative planning with Alameda and San Joaquin counties to establish a recreation and preservation corridor; public-private partnerships to provide reimbursement and development funds; and more.

Any of these opportunities requires a broad resource management view of the Tesla Park land and the region. In spite of regulatory requirements to protect resources, the OHMVR Divisionâ��s purpose and objectives are incompatible with such a view.�  We are not working against Carnegie SVRA, but we are working to� protect Tesla Park.�  That is why it is time to pursue more viable and appropriate, and likely more cost-effective, alternatives for the Tesla Park land.

Development of the park under any alternative� operational and management scenario will take time given limited budget resources.�  But the Tesla Park land is already public land owned by the State and under the control of the the State Parks department.�  The first step to making Tesla Park become a reality� is� to redesignate its intended use from a Off-Highway Motor Vehicle site to a low impact non-OHV park and preserve.

This is a great opportunity for our communities and region.�  We must first protect and preserve the Tesla Park land; then we can begin the process to establish the appropriate use and management plan that ensures this unique and special� native landscape is protected for for all today and in the furture.

See the EBRPD 2007 Master Plan map below:

EBRPD included Tesla Park to its 2007 Master Plan, but at this time the State OHMV Division still is trying to expand Carnegie SVRA into Tesla Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to main Tesla Park page.

Head of Corral Hollow Canyon in Tesla Park

Protecting Tesla Park is important because, hair
among its many features, seek
it is a corridor for the movement of wildlife, medicine and plants in their habitats.  OHV use in Tesla, expecially given the waste land that the OHMVR Divsion has allowed at the adjacent Carnegie SVRA, would damage or destroy the critical habitat cooridors that run through Tesla Park.

Tesla Parks importance as a habitat corridor has been identifed by the Bay Area (and Statewide) Critical Linkages project which is working to ensure that habitat corridors essential for the welfare and survialof species are maintaned in and around the urbanized Bay Area.

We need your help to protect the abundant wildlife and plant species on site at Tesla and habitat corridors that run through Tesla Park.  Go to the Contact Us page and sign up as a Friend of Tesla Park today.

 

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