One the the frequently repeated myths is that Tesla Park has to be used for OHV use because it was purchased with OHMVR funds – not true. Read more…
Myth – Tesla Park has to be used for OHV use because it was bought with OHMVR funds.
Fact – It is not accurate that Tesla Park has to be used for OHV use like that which occurs at Carnegie SVRA because it was bought with OHMVR funds.
The OHMVR Division receives funding for and is statutorily responsible to provide motorized off-highway access to non-motorized recreation. At Tesla Park, limited street legal vehicle off-highway access to limited parking areas and trails heads for non-motorized recreation meets all requirements of the OHMVR statutes and provides the type of resource protection and low impact non-motorized recreation appropriate for Tesla Park. It is consistent with OHMVR laws that define how OHMVR funds are to be used to operate Tesla Park as a sensitive natural and historic area with limited street legal off-highway access to non-motorized recreation.
Further, the OHMVR Division did not conduct an acquisition EIR prior to purchasing Tesla Park. Contrary to Public Resources Code Section 5090.43(b), the OHMVR Division purchased Tesla Park for OHV use even though essentially all of Tesla Park should be established as a sensitive natural and historic/cultural area. Tesla Park is inappropriate for OHV use. That is why two prior attempts in 2000 and 2004 to gain EIR approval to open Tesla Park to OHV use were abandoned.
One of the major failures of the OHMVR Division, as explained by former Deputy Director Daphne Green in her interview with the Attorney General as part of the 2012 State Parks Department secret fund investigation, was the Division’s acquisition or planned acquisition of property which was not suitable for OHV use. Tesla Park was not appropriate for OHV when it was purchased in 1996 and 1998.
Had the OHMVR Division completed necessary due diligence before the purchase as required by law, the sensitive natural and historic/cultural resources in Tesla Park would have been identified and Tesla Park would never have been purchased for expansion of Carnegie SVRA. Having failed to perform such pre-acquisition evaluation, the OHMVR Division is now attempting to justify opening Tesla Park to OHV use simply because they intended the property be designated for OHV use and they used OHMVR funds for purchase. Just because someone buys a piece of property does not mean they can do whatever they want with it.