Our Assembly member Joan Buchanan (16th District) and State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (7th District) expressed their support for protection of Tesla Park in a recent article in The Independent. We thank them for there support and help to protect this important natural and cultural resource.
Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan said in a statement: “I share the concerns of many of my constituents about the potential harm to the Alameda/Tesla park land if it were to be opened to OHV use. Both East Bay Regional Parks District and Save Mount Diablo have expressed interest in preserving this land.
Tesla Park must be protected given the numerous endangered and protected species, habitats and culturally significant features. The property also holds a rich history as the seasonal hunting and gathering grounds for Native American peoples as well as being the site of one of the first commercial coal mines in California. We cannot allow the Alameda/Tesla properties to be degraded like Carnegie.
There cannot be any shortcuts to the EIR process. A complete and comprehensive project-level EIR, with opportunities for extensive public input, must be completed prior to any approval to open the Alameda/Tesla Park land to OHV use. If the process is to be supportable, the EIR also must consider alternative uses.”
In separate meetings with representatives from Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird’s office and State Parks Director, Major General Jackson, I emphasized that it is essential to an open and fair process that the final EIR must be complete and must be certified by an independent body, rather than by the OHMVR Commission. Both have assured me of this and our office will continue to follow the project throughout the EIR process.”
We are still expecting the General Plan and Draft EIR for Canegie SVRA and expansion into the Tesla Park land to be issued in Summer 2013 (June – September 2013). If we get a more specific date we will post an update. If you can help with comments on the Draft EIR please email us at email@example.com. We also recommend you sign up at www.carnegiegeneralplan.com for update from OHMVR directly.
We do expect that OHMVR will present the alternatives they will analyze in the Draft EIR around the end of April 2013. We have commented extensively that non-OHV uses for Tesla Park must be included in the EIR Alternatives Analysis. Thus far OHMVR has stated that Tesla Park will be used for OHV use. Although the EIR process should consider non-OHV use alternatives for Tesla Park, OHMVR, as demonstrated in comments by the Carnegie SVRA Acting Superintendent in recent news articles, is moving full speed ahead trying to figure out how to open Tesla Park to the maximum OHV use possible.
See recent news articles:
Alliance Aims to Change Plans for Tesla Park, The Independent, April 4, 2013
Tesla land near Carnegie: Off-roaders vs. preservationists, Contra Costa Times, March 11, 2013
Manzanita bark in Tesla Park
Whether an expansive vista of the Sierra Nevada and Great Central Valley of California or the fine detail of a biological wonder – Tesla Park is a special place. Act today to help SAVE Tesla Park.
OHV users perpetuate misinformation, so to set the record straight about Tesla Park, we have added a Myth Busters page.
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.