Our opponents have plans to try to take away our park a little bit at a time. They set up a website and lobbied influential political operatives who have rallied to their cause. The truth is that they are organized and have a lot of influence. Carnegie riders should all attend the Carnegie Preferred Concept Workshop in Pleasanton on November 12th. See preceding post for details.

Not one of the three alternatives adopted by State Parks recognizes that Carnegie is a State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA), one of 8 such facilities in California devoted solely to off highway vehicle recreation (OHV). It was never meant to be one of the 272 state parks run for the general public (none of which includes OHV use).

Activities other than OHV recreation are incorporated into all three concepts. Talk about being unclear on the concept!

There is no shortage of parks devoted to other forms of recreation in the Bay Area (non-OHV). East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) operates 112,000 acres for non-OHV use (other than golf carts) which in addition to the other state parks makes it just a short drive to get to any of these areas for a hike or a picnic. The closest OHV park is Carnegie which is sixty miles from our home in the East Bay. I have nowhere closer to ride my vehicle which is fully registered for off road use.

I haven’t seen the preferred concept yet, but I am very concerned and I urge all OHV owners and enthusiasts to go the meeting this week. We have to make our voices heard. Carnegie SVRA is for off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation period. It is run by the OHMVR Division of State Parks. It is not meant to be a general park offering activities to the general public unrelated to OHV use.

Why am I concerned? Have our adversaries inserted their agenda into the process to the point that Carnegie is being opened to the general public in the new general plan ignoring the legislation behind its creation as a park for OHV recreation?

It might behoove us to take a close look at the letter that Deputy Director Christopher Conlon sent to Robert Doyle with East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) board of directors informing him that the Tesla property belongs to the State. This letter deserves a careful reading and provides a glimpse of what is going on behind closed doors.


I wonder if Deputy Director Conlon realizes that Robert Doyle of EBRPD got his “facts” from Celeste Garamendi and her Friends of Tesla website. Does he realize that Garamendi sent numerous letters to Ayn Wieskamp, of the EBRP Board of Directors asking her to consider taking over our park for non-OHV use? See:

It appears that the newly appointed Deputy Director, Conlon, wants EBRPD to have a role in formulating the new general plan

The letter references Mr. Brian Holt’s attendance at a Public Workshop held by California State Parks regarding land within Carnegie SVRA. His letter offers feedback regarding your group’s opinion about public usage of the properties. We acknowledge and appreciate this input, as this is precisely why Public Workshops are valuable for the creation of General Plans for parks in the California State Park System.”

What sort of public usage of “the properties” is being contemplated and why is this valuable in formulating the general plan for a State Vehicular Recreation Area?

Then it appears that even Daphne Green was in on the plan to get EBRPD involved in non-OHV activities on our property – to wit – interpretive programming. Does this invitation include input into the museum which is included in two of the three alternative concepts for the new general plan?

Since the EBRPD assists in management of other properties owned by California State Parks, the letter also referenced future opportunities for the EBRPD to assist with interpretative programming at Carnegie SVRA.”

Interpretive  programming in State Vehicular Recreation Areas usually consists of a few plaques to give OHV users a sense of the history of the area and nothing more. A museum built and run with OHV Trust Fund money is a direct attack on OHV recreation in California.

EBRPD’s Master Plan includes “Tesla” on their map. They are opposed to OHV use on our property. To ask them to have a hand in interpretive programming is a complete surrender to these overreaching opportunists. Does Daphne Green’s  invitation include letting EBRPD design and operate the museum for profit? Our opponents are using the name and reputation of Holt to get our land and our money.

Having gone to East Bay Regional Park District’s (EBRPD) Board meetings regarding their Master Plan and making our concerns heard, we were told that they would stop at nothing to keep us from riding on our property. The OHMVR Division of State Parks is inviting EBRPD to work with the Division in formulating the new General Plan. What can they be thinking? See below:

“It is the mission of California State Parks to provide a multitude of recreational opportunities for our citizens. Therefore we do encourage you to collaborate with OHMVR Division and the Twin Cities District (which Carnegie SVRA is a part of) in pursuing land use plans that will allow for more varied forms of recreation. Those forms of recreation include Off highway Motor Vehicle Recreation as mandated by our Legislature and managed by the OHMVR Division. We recognize the special attributes of the “Tesla Property, and we would prefer to work together to complement your Master Plan rather  than debate ownership rights.”

Does that mean that they purchased the property knowing of the “special attributes” making it inappropriate for OHV recreation or did they learn of those “special attributes” by listening to our adversaries who have cooked up all sorts of bogus reasons to uphold the idea that our property is too valuable to be used for OHV recreation? See:

The legislature repealed legislation that created Carnegie SVRA specifically for the purpose of long term for OHV recreation quoting the language of the enabling statute in the Public Resources Code that defines the purpose of the legislation to create and further long term OHV recreation in California.

Public Resources Code 5090.01

 (a) The Legislature finds all of the following:

 (1) Off-highway motor vehicles are enjoying an ever-increasing popularity in California.

 (2) Off-highway recreation includes both motorized recreation and motorized off-highway access to nonmotorized recreation activities.

 (3) The indiscriminate and uncontrolled use of those vehicles may have a deleterious impact on the environment, wildlife habitats, native wildlife, and native flora.
(No mention is made of the deleterious impact of cattle ranching or golf)

 (b) The Legislature hereby declares that effectively managed areas and adequate facilities for the use of off-highway vehicles and conservation and enforcement are essential for ecologically balanced recreation.

(c) Accordingly, it is the intent of the Legislature that:

 (1) Existing off-highway motor vehicle recreational areas, facilities, and opportunities should be expanded and managed in a manner consistent with this chapter, in particular to maintain sustained long-term use.

 (2) New off-highway motor vehicle recreational areas, facilities, and opportunities should be provided and managed pursuant to this chapter in a manner that will sustain long-term use.

 (3) The department should support both motorized recreation and motorized off-highway access to nonmotorized recreation.

(4) When areas or trails or portions thereof cannot be maintained to appropriate established standards for sustained long-term use, they should be closed to use and repaired, to prevent accelerated erosion. Those areas should remain closed until they can be managed within the soil conservation standard or should be closed and restored.

 (5) Prompt and effective implementation of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program by the department and the Division of Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation should have an equal priority among other programs in the department.

(6) Off-highway motor vehicle recreation should be managed in accordance with this chapter through financial assistance to local governments and joint undertakings with agencies of the United States and with federally recognized Native American tribes.

 (Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 541, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2008. Repealed as of January 1, 2018, pursuant to Section 5090.70.)

 It appears that our new Deputy Director does not understand the concept of OHV Recreation and the reason the legislature passed the Chapter 1.25 Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation in the Public Resources Code to ensure that “existing off-highway motor vehicle recreational areas, facilities, and opportunities should be expanded and managed in a manner consistent with this chapter, in particular to maintain sustained long-term use.” See:

 The retired general (Deputy Director Conlon) has seen the enemy and is surrendering without a fight.

It is time to make a noise or forever be relegated to the dust heap of history. This is not about the environment. They want to build structures and the infrastructure to support the general public in our OHV park It isn’t about just making a few dirt trails winding through the hills anymore. It is a lot more than that.

The more they get their foot in the door the more we have to fear being made obsolete. Celeste Garamendi has already made it known that she has no intention of sharing our park with off highway vehicles.

We let the kayak paddlers use our access road at Mammoth Bar in Auburn and they took our park away from us a few days during the week and on Saturdays. They did this so that they could paddle in peace for the minute or two it took to get past the sound of the motocross track. Even though it is not a state park, Mammoth Bar uses OHV Trust Fund money in the form of grants and cooperative agreements.

Even though we all take our families to museums and other non-OHV state parks, this is no time to say live and let live. They are not going to grant us the same courtesy.

Changing the mission of the OHV Division of State Parks from providing a place to ride off-highway vehicles into something else has been in the works a long time. They have been preparing for day this since the Tesla/Alameda expansion was purchased and it looks like they are about to drop the hammer.

We all should go to the Preferred Concept meeting and make our concerns known.  This is an unparalleled attack on OHV recreation in California.  They want our park (and our money) and it appears that it is just about a done deal.

They really don’t want us to ride. But we go riding on weekends and sometimes even during the week. Imagine how that must make them feel. Regardless, we treat others with respect and conduct ourselves as gentlemen and gentlewomen. That doesn’t really need to be said…

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