The State of California currently operates Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) off-highway motor vehicle recreation (OHMVR) park in Corral Hollow Canyon. Carnegie SVRA is located in southwest San Joaquin County and southeast Alameda County on about 1,600 acres that runs along the south side of Corral Hollow/Tesla Road. A tour of Carnegie or Google Earth review demonstrates the environmental destruction and ongoing resource management challenges the SVRA faces. Irreparable environmental and historical/cultural resource damage has occurred as a result of extensive off-road motor vehicle use. Now the OHMV wants to expand Carnegie SVRA into adjacent property that has tremendous historical, cultural, biological and scenic value.In the late 1990s, the State Parks Department OHMVR Division purchased over 3,400 acres contiguous to Carnegie SVRA on the western edge of the Corral Hollow Canyon and Tesla Valley in order to expand Carnegie SVRA. This new State park land, located in Alameda County and primarily south of the Corral Hollow/Tesla Road, includes 2 large parcels (Alameda and Tesla parcels) and several smaller parcels and residences. The Alameda-Tesla purchase, which we call Tesla Park, is a unique and concentrated mix of beautiful mountainous oak studded grass land with numerous listed species, target habitats, and culturally significant features.
Since 2000 the OHMVR Division has tried two times to gain environmental (CEQA) approval to expand Carnegie SVRA into the Tesla Park land. Through the CEQA process numerous environmental problems with the OHMVR expansion plan have been identified in written comments and in meetings. CEQA approval has not been able to be obtained primarily due to the largely unmitigated damage caused by current Carnegie SVRA operations, the fragile and irreplaceable resources that exist in new Tesla Park land and the inability to establish a viable mitigation plan. But the OHMVR Division’s continued efforts to expand Carnegie SVRA have blocked attempts to pursue other more appropriate non-OHV uses, such as low-impact recreation and preservation, for the Tesla Park land.
The OHMVR Division is now working its third attempt with a General Plan update and EIR for Carnegie SVRA that will include expansion into the Tesla Park land. The public input component of the General Plan and EIR process started in April and can be tracked at http://carnegiegeneralplan.com. The Notice of Preparation and Initial Study comment deadline was July 11, 2012. The Draft EIR is expected to be issued for comment sometime in 2013.
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