The veto of AB 1086 – Alameda Tesla Expansion Area by Governor Newsom’s was extremely disappointing on many levels. The Governor’s apparent support for the plan to expand Carnegie SVRA and open Tesla to damaging Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreation betrays the environmental protection principals he ran on. One only needs to look at Carnegie SVRA, which the OHMVR Division states is well managed, to know the devastating fate that awaits Tesla, a rare biologically diverse ecologically intact native landscape in the urbanized East Bay.
The Governor turned his back on a simple, wise and fair solution to a 20-year local controversy which was vetted through 2 years of legislative review, with overwhelming local public agency and community support and approved by over two-thirds of both houses in the Legislature. AB 1086 was wise because it could lead to protection of Tesla’s irreplaceable biodiversity. In a time of climate change Tesla’s location at the intersection of biotic zones provides critical species protection and resiliency. AB 1086 was fair because it did not require sale, but if it was determined that sale for conservation purposes to a local agency or non-profit was in the public interest proceeds would be returned to the OHMVR Division for use in area appropriate for OHV recreation.
We obviously have more education to do with Governor Newsom and his Administration about the extensive scientific facts supporting Tesla preservation and how permanent protection is central to the Governor’s stated environmental objectives.
I joined the fight to Save Tesla Park nearly 10 years ago. Many others have worked for decades longer. Because Tesla is too important a part of our region’s natural history to sacrifice to OHV recreation use, we remain committed to establishing Tesla Park as a non-motorized nature and cultural preserve. We are very thankful to Assembly Member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan and Senator Steve Glazer for their vision and leadership. I am confident that together – working with local officials, public agencies, community organizations and citizens – we will permanently preserve the beauty and wonder of Tesla as a legacy for future generations.
Friends of Tesla Park