(you can click on images to enlarge them)

Congratulations Carnegie Riders! Thanks to you we had a fantastic turnout for the General Plan meeting on June 10th. Now we need to take action. Go online to:   http://carnegie.engage-sites.com/hello

1. Review the materials and vote for Concept #3.

2. You can click on Comment Form under June 10 Meeting   Materials. You will have to print it out and follow the directions for submitting it because you can’t fill it in online. You can fill it in by hand and send to the address at the end of the form or scan in the competed form and email it to CarnegieGP@parks.ca.gov. It is complicated. Take the time to fill it out completely.

3. After you have filled out the complete comment form or if you want to skip that step (we don’t recommend that you do this) you can click on “Want to skip all the materials and just give feedback? You can use this comment form” Click on this comment form to vote for Concept #3 and then add your thoughts about resource management, visitor experience areas and concept alternatives. It is just an open comment form and you can fill it out and  submit it online.

4.  Make sure to take some time and add personal requests/suggestions. In particular, let them know of our opposition to any sort of non-OHV recreation in our park.

5.  Don’t let our enemies take away our voice and our park. They will never stop trying to steal it from us and turn it into a hiking area. They will be voting for Concepts 1 and 2 which don’t favor our idea of what OHV recreation should be all about.

Our opponents have plans to take away our park a little bit at a time. The truth is that they are organized and have a lot of influence in California. Not one of the concept alternatives recognizes that Carnegie is a state vehicular recreation facility and not a park for the general public. Recreational activities which have nothing to do with off-highway motor vehicles are included in all three concepts.

This is ridiculous. Carnegie is a place to ride our bikes and four wheeled vehicles. Although we should vote for the third concept – Expand and Diversity OHV Recreation; we need to make it clear that it needs to be substantially rewritten.

Carnegie is not meant for the general public. It is financed and used by the motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles and was created by statute to provide a place to ride off road.

We love our motorcycles, quads… and whatever. More than anything else we love our trails and riding terrain. Giving our park away to non-OHV interests is the ultimate betrayal of our trust. Allowing non-OHV activities within our park defies legislation that created Carnegie for off road recreation.

Whoever came up with these choices does not understand that we pay to play (special self-assessed  fees and taxes) so have someplace to ride (we think) .

Public parks for non-OHV activities are everywhere, including, state-wide 272 state non-OHV parks, and locally 113,000 acres of East Bay Regional Parks (no off-highway vehicles). Carnegie, one of only eight state OHV facilities, is the closest OHV riding area to our home in Berkeley. It is a a sixty mile drive. We paid for Carnegie and we pay for its continuation and upkeep. We need all of Carnegie and we won’t allow  our opponents to get a toe hold in our park.

Friends of Tesla believe that there is no difference between a normal public park run by the California State Parks and Recreation and a State Vehicular Recreation Area like Carnegie run by the Division of Off-Highway Recreation. This lie is being adopted by the those in charge of developing the three concepts. They are mistaken. Maybe they need to go back and review https://carnegiejournal.com/2013/06/06/the-alamedatesla-expansion-project-and-why-friends-of-tesla-are-mistaken/

We should start over with a Riders’ Commission to come up with a concept that reflects the purpose of our park to provide OHV recreation and nothing else.

Carnegie was created for long term off highway vehicle recreation. It is supported entirely by the user funded OHV Trust.

Vis Day Car 10 12 029carnegie

We are told that we have to choose between three concepts or come up with one of our own. Basically, we are being forced to accept one which is slightly less offensive than the others.

On its surface Concept three: Diversifying OHV Recreation is the concept that best reflects our overwhelming support for more trails and areas where we can ride. However, if you look closer you will see a disturbing pattern. The purpose of concept three seems benign – Expand and Diversify OHV recreation and related types of recreation.

How did they slip in “related types of recreation”?

The question is what do they mean by “related types of recreation” which logically cannot be OHV recreation? We all want to expand and diversify OHV recreation but at what cost? This is contrary to the purpose of SVRA facilities.

This is not acceptable. Carnegie is not one of the public parks run by The Department of Parks for non-OHV recreation and funded by general California taxes like sales tax and income tax.

Parts of the limited recreation areas (the dark green areas marked with an L) cannot be used for off-highway vehicle recreation except in a very limited sense but they can be used for other types of recreational activities. These areas are shown in the maps for all three concepts, some more of them than others.

The infrastructure that will be build to accommodate everybody engaged in “other types of recreational activities” will  intrude on the natural setting more than a few dirt trails passing through the area.

How long do you think we will last as an OHV park once these people get their foot inside the door? Celeste has already said that she is not willing to share Tesla (her name not ours) with off-highway vehicles.

They want to build a public museum inside Carnegie with our money. Only concept one: Provide Backcounty Experience, does not include a visitor center/museum. This is our least favored concept because riding opportunities are already limited within our three thousand acres without the need for a feeling of solitude.

It there has to be a museum, it should be built using general fund money and located outside our park. Carnegie is an vehicular recreation facility. Carnegie riders go to Carnegie to ride their bikes and four wheelers not to visit museums.

According to California State Parks own website ‘State Vehicular Recreation Areas created in Chapter 1.25 of the Public Resources Code create a system of Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRAs) operated by the OHMVR Division of California State Parks. Each SVRA has an operational program which provides (in most locations) the following services:

  • Trails, tracks, and other OHV Recreation opportunities
  • Restrooms, camping, shade ramadas, water
  • OHV parts store
  • Public safety, including law enforcement, first aid, and search and rescue
  • Maintenance including repair and maintenance of OHV trails, buildings, equipment and public use facilities
  • Interpretive and educational activities and publications promoting safe and responsible OHV recreation
  • Resource management designed to sustain OHV opportunities, protects and enhances wildlife habitat, erosion control, re-vegetation, etc.

SVRAs are created outside the general system of state parks and were created solely for off highway vehicular recreation. They are not supported by the general California tax payer.

The state has a fiduciary duty to ensure money collected from off road vehicle registrant fees, fuel tax used by off-highway vehicles (OHV)s and OHV park entrance fees are put in the OHV Trust Fund. The portion used to fund SVRAs must be used for OHV recreation and resource management – period.

IMG_1233eC4E at App Day 2012

Leave our free riding areas alone. On the maps “Distributed Riding Area”are shaded in purple and  marked with a D. Along withe hill climbing and with a higher density of trails, they also include areas closed for restoration, conservation, and gathering areas for visitors (Indians). All the concepts include Distributed Riding Areas and Limited Riding Areas (practically no OHV riding) on what are now free riding areas. This is wrong.

We have wealthy opponents who are committed to taking away our park even though it is a public park enjoyed by millions of people. They went to court to get an order to close Carnegie for supposedly releasing industrial waste. They were unsuccessful but they never give up. Do you recognize their hand in the three choices we are given?

There is an invisible presence behind the politics of anti-OHV recreation. Recently a legislative rider to totally unrelated legislation was introduced in Sacramento to add additional environmental requirements to two specific state parks one of which was Carnegie. Due to the diligence and quick response of District-36 this underhanded move was revealed and the legislative rider was shelved when other legislators realized what had been done. We always have to be on guard because they never give up.

Carnegie SVRA is a motor vehicle park. The emphasis must be on a mandate to run the park to sustain long term OHV use. That means for everyone. We need trails for everybody from beginners to experts and according to everybody’s tastes  from motorcycles to quads, SUV’s, 4×4, Dune Buggies & Side x Sides.

We go to general parks ran by the California Department of Parks and Recreation for sightseeing, nature walks and education (parks that don’t allow off highway vehicle recreation).

The Public Resources Code requires that state vehicular recreation areas shall be established on lands where there are quality recreational opportunities for off-highway motor vehicles.  Any attempt to change the character of our park is because our opponents have convinced the Division of OHV Recreation that the acquisition is not appropriate for OHV use. If that line of reasoning is adopted by the state we should get our money back. Because the land was purchased over fifteen years ago we should get more than the $7 million purchase price. That money could be used to purchase land where we can ride.


The three proposals emphasize resource protection over OHV recreation even though riding our vehicles on specially designated trails has minimal effect on the resources. Do you think public roads have to be redirected to go around protected resources?

The Information Packet states that avoiding impacts to cultural and natural resources are required in any preferred concept.

First of all there is nothing natural about any of the concepts. The park is not going to be natural but will be  totally shaped by man’s hand. Everything from the type of vegetation to specific types of wildlife will be overseen.

Cattle grazing (concepts 1 and 2 in the acquisition area) and weed eradication (herbicides?) throughout the park are included within the context of protecting park resources. Weed is defined in the Webster Dictionary as: “Any unsightly or troublesome plant that grows in abundance; especially any course herbaceous plant growing to injurious excess on cultivated or farrow ground where it is not wanted, as dock ragweed, etc.”

Carnegie is not cultivated. Semi arid plant life such as  non-native grasses, chaparral and California Oak cover the hillsides. Native bunch grasses have been mostly replaced by annual Mediterranean greases. Nonnative species predominate. If we redefine weed to include any nonnative species then herbicides will be strayed all throughout the park.

Weeds are a part of the process of evolution. More hardy plants take over as conditions change? Can we encourage native plant life without arbitrarily picking a time in the past where everything can be labeled native? Evolution is making changes all the time with and without the help of humans.

According to the United Nations report livestock, including cattle, have a huge negative impact on native vegetation and biodiversity. Cattle also release pathogens that can get into the water supply.

Do we trust the state’s environmental motives when their plan includes the building of parking lots, museums and other facilities which take away from the natural character of our park?

Carnegie is not a public state park financed by the general fund. Therefore, the California taxpayer who has an interest in providing places for local tribes to celebrate their ancestry cannot give our vehicular recreation facility away. Carnegie is supported by a special trust fund financed solely by the OHV community. As such the Indians have no claim to it unless they want to use it for its intended purpose like everybody else.

Public state parks (which do not permit OHV use) are supported by taxes which we all pay as California taxpayers. We are being double taxed if non-OHV recreation is permitted in Carnegie since our park is supported by a special fund not paid by the general public.

In short we are being undermined by people who comment on the Carnegie General Plan website who do not use our park, many of whom do not even live in California. Some of them have enough political power to shape the future of our park.

I can’t tell you what to say but you need to make comments (as many as possible) about the General Plan and let them know what you envision our park to look like in the future

Vote for concept three to expand and diversity OHV recreation. Make proposals which advance the interest of you and your friends. Make sure that you emphasis that Carnegie is an OHV park and you want to keep it solely for OHV recreation as intended from the time that it was created. Think of the children. We can’t let our opponents get their foot in the door.

Also where is the motocross track on any of the maps?

tracyhigh3photoCarnegie Wild Creatures

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  1. Chuck Oliver says:

    Carnegie is NOT a public park. It is an off-highway vehicle facility that is administered by the OHV Division of State Parks, no general fund monies are used . The state manages the facility for us the owners. We are a Coalition of Off Road Enthusiasts who own the facility. It is private property. The Rangers should be escorting any one who is not an OHV enthusiast off the property as a trespasser.

    The state tried to pass a bill that would add a tax to vehicle registration to maintain the state public parks and the voting public TURNED it down. Mean while the state upped our off road vehicle registration. We are paying that because it is supposed to go to further enhance our riding.

    Remember that no general funds are used at Carnegie. Carnegie belongs to only those people who support it with their dollars. The OHV Division has a fiduciary responsibility to make sure our trust fund is used for OHV and OHV only. Not to turn Carnegie into a public park.

    There is no playing fields, no hiking trails, no equestrian trails, and no museum. They don’t belong there. I can find these things in public parks that are only a few minutes from my house. I have to drive 60 miles to get to Carnegie so that I Can enjoy my SPORT. Once the museum is opened on our land it moves Carnegie closer to a public park and not the Off Road Facility that it is supposed to be.

    The ranchers and the wineries don’t have to put up with all the restriction that are being applied to Carnegie. This is supposedly a Capitalist country, so what happened to Private Property. A ranch can be owned by a group of investors. A winery can be owned by a group of investors. They can do as they please. We are a group of investors that own Carnegie, but for us suddenly everything is different. We want to exercise our rights of ownership.

  2. Diana says:

    Basically our opponents are urging their supporters to tell State Parks that its main purpose is to protect the so called “sensitive resources” at Tesla Park (The Alameda/Tesla expansion). They say that OHV use of any kind is incompatible with protection of Tesla. In essence, they want to turn it into a non-motorized low impact recreation area and preserve.

    The lies and distortions are couched in scientific terms but they cite no independent scientific evidence. The description of the large variety of rare, threatened, and endangered plant and wildlife species comes straight from the Friends of Tesla website. Again with no scientific documentation besides their own observations which are suspect in that they are not unbiased.

    In truth, there are documented threatened and endangered species which live inside Carnegie after almost a century of off road vehicle use. Threatened and endangered species exist throughout the hot, semi-arid hills found in the Eastern part of the Coast Range. According to our opponents they all live inside Tesla and OHV use in not compatible with their preservation.

    Maybe these critters like us more than the OHV haters could ever imagine. During the latest hill climb competition at Carnegie a few of us noticed a large Tule Elk (a buck) on the sidelines curiously watching the bikes going up the hill. After the completion was over he jumped over the temporary fencing and walked around sniffing the air as if he was curious about what the humans were up to. He did not seem to be disturbed by the presence of the large crowds milling around after the event.

    I guess this particular elk did not get the message that OHV use endangers his existence. He probably realizes that he is safer in our park than on our neighbors’ (the OHV haters) property where there is a $11,000 purse on his head.

    The Native American artifacts (over 4,000 years old) are not identified by our opponents. Regardless, any actual artifacts can be safely preserved just like the remains of the pottery factory that once existed inside Carnegie. The location of where it once stood is currently fenced off and conserved for later archeological excavation.

    The “abandoned historic coal mining town” does not exist today. There is nothing to preserve but a hole in the ground, a few piles of toxic slag and eroded hillsides littered with bits of torn up lumber. Again there is nothing to suggest that the area is incompatible with OHV use.

    It is Instructive to learn that our opponents do not support a “no project alternative”. They have their hearts set on opening the property for recreation as long as OHV recreation is not included.

  3. kenn says:

    i have ridin carnegie SVRA since i was 10 year old i am now 55 and ride there at least 3 or 4 times a month and hollister just as much and have passed this great pass time sport on to my son now 33 and grandson 14 and 5 do you think for one second i and my second and third generation are going to let these idiots take this away from us we as members who pay our off road fees and park fees for what they are intended for off highway use we own this land period if you look around as i have noticed it has grown to be a place where famileys and friends gather for one thing ridin our ohvs it has tripled over the years look at hollister if you dont get there friday nite sometimes thursday nite forget about gettin a camp spot even day time use is hard we need more places in calif to ride if they take our land we will have no choice but to ride illegaley where ever we can and the few that are open will become so over crowed that accidents illegal riding will destroy what little land there is for us to ride. WHAT CAN WE DO fight for our rights the friends of tesla they aint no friends of mine because the have the money and power they will take this away.one more thing what happens to the industry that provides these wonderfull machines people will stop buying there products and there goes more jobs !! i wish i could do more !!

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