Tule Elk in Tesla September 2015
Although the August 2015 Tesla Fire burned much of the Tesla park land, Tule elk herd observed in Tesla for many years remains. In September the herd was seen in a southern area of Tesla which had not burned. The existing Carnegie SVRA has already reduced the Tule elk range. Elk never range on the existing Carnegie SVRA. Therefore, the range land in Tesla is important habitat for the herd.
Incredibly, the Carnegie SVRA Draft EIR did not address the presence of the long established elk herd or the impact opening Tesla to OHV use would have on reducing important elk habitat.
Protecting the Tule elk habitat is just one of the many reasons why we need to save Tesla Park.
The California Native Grassland Association has joined the alliance to permanently protect the Tesla park land.
Tesla has several sensitive vegetation communities. On one brief field trip, botanists identified an area of Poa Secunda grassland alliance on Tesla which Carnegie SVRA had not identified in 15 years of oversight. What other sensitive and rare natural and cultural resources are part of Tesla that Carnegie SVRA ignores?
Check out the growing list of support for permanent preservation of Tesla.
On August 19, 2015 there was a wildfire that burned over much of the Tesla park land from near Livermore to Carnegie SVRA. We are thankful there were no injuries or major property loss.
While the immediate impact of a fire on the natural landscape is shocking, we now understand that wildfires are part of natural ecological processes that have helped shape Tesla into such a biologically rich wild land. Tesla will regenerate and flourish again. In fact some vegetation and rare plants benefit from fire, so it may come back with even more abundance. The fire also provides an opportunity to study its impacts on rare plants and sensitive habitats. Tesla’s biological diversity is the perfect classroom for such research.
It would be reckless to try to use the fire as justification to open Tesla to OHV use or facilitate the plan to open Tesla to OHV use. In fact Tesla needs our protection all the more during this fragile period of regrowth.
Tesla exists beyond the moment, and its life cycle provides part of the unique wonder that we must permanently preserve for future generations. Nothing has changed – now there are just more reasons why we need to Save Tesla Park.
Tesla park ridget top summer looking north to Mt. Diablo
We are preparing for the next steps in the work to preserve Tesla. At this time the OHMVR Division plans to release the Final EIR this Fall. We will need to provide further comments on the Final EIR when released and at the subsequent public hearing. We will start fundraising again for the next stages of the CEQA process. And, with the support of the County of Alameda, City of Livermore and LARPD, we will continue to press for a change in State policy to designate Tesla as a non-OHV use preserve. You can help by letting our new State legislators, Assembly Member Catherine Baker and Senator Steve Glazer, know that we need their help to permanently preserve Tesla.
The June 29th comment deadline for the Carnegie SVRA Draft EIR and Preliminary General has passed. In addition to hundreds of comments from individuals, at least 11 public agencies and 25 community organizations also submitted substantive comments on the proposed project to expand Carnegie SVRA into the sensitive Tesla park land. Thank you for your help on DEIR comments! Your commitment to Save Tesla Park drives us forward.