Doesn’t it seem a little bit strange that the person promoting the idea that there is a place called “Tesla” (The Alameda/Tesla Expansion) which needs to be protected because of its unique natural and cultural resources is Celeste Garamendi? Her website, Friends of Tesla, and her connections with various political and  environmental organizations as well as her contacts with the media, are used to propagate this myth.

What she doesn’t tell you is that she and her husband Mark Connolly own a nine thousand acre cattle ranch that borders this fictional “Tesla” site.

She comes from a wealthy and politically connected family.  Her brother John Garamendi is the U.S. Representative for California’s third district. Celeste Garamendi‘s political career so far has not been very noteworthy. A few years ago she ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Tracy.

There is no Tesla Wilderness. The land is owned by a Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area and was purchased to expand a popular public off road park. In reality it is the Alameda/Tesla Expansion purchased using a special trust fund supported entirely by off road riders.

The state is obligated by statute to use OHV Trust Fund moneys to maintain trails in the Alameda/Tesla Expansion to the highest standards and to protect native wildlife habitat, native wildlife, as well as historical and cultural artifacts. The state is held to the highest soil conservation standards. Areas where standards cannot be attained must be closed and restored to their natural condition.

Celeste wants you to believe that she wants to save our park from off road recreation because of her concerns for the environment.

She doesn’t want you to know that besides her husband’s cattle ranch, the Alameda/Tesla Expansion is bordered by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory which is a Superfund site  covering approximately eleven miles on the north side of Corral Hollow Road.

Then there is also the SRI testing facility where explosives are built and tested on on a site bordering the original park. The testing facility and the Superfund site are the least of her troubles.

You don’t have to go far to learn about the adverse environmental effects of cattle ranching.

“The harmful environmental effects of livestock production are becoming increasingly serious at all levels–local, regional, national and global–and urgently need to be addressed, according to researchers from Stanford University, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other organizations.”

Somehow she wants you to believe that this pristine area that she calls ” Tesla” and which lies right next to her husband’s cattle ranch is so valuable and unique that it needs to be protected from a few unpaved trails used for off road recreation. Maybe the true threat and source of environmental degradation comes from the other side of the fence? Maybe the unique natural resources she is referring to need to be protected from her husband’s cattle ranch?

The Alameda/Tesla Expansion is an area of dry, sun burnt, steep, unshaded hillsides much like the parched brown landscape surrounding it (even this time of year). The pictures in her website of lush green fields and the rich riparian scenery are not at all what it looks like today.

Maybe those pictures were taken after an unseasonably large storm. They were certainly taken during the two or three months a year of the so called rainy season. The hills haven’t looked like that in several years. So maybe they were taken some time before the ongoing drought when there actually was some minimal rainfall in Northern California a few months a year.

Today the only water that you will find is in a toxic pit left over from a mining operation that was abandoned in the early part of the last century.

Celeste wants you to believe that the Alameda/Tesla Expansion is a unique resource that needs to be saved from off highway vehicular recreation. This myth was perpetuated along with an unsuccessful lawsuit that her husband helped bring to try of shut down Carnegie SVRA  See:

Don’t believe everything you learn on the internet. There is a hidden motive here that has more to do with not in my backyard thinking or some kind of ambition to leave behind a personal legacy than any genuine environmental concerns.

It seems strange that Garamendi and Connolly are both so opposed to the opening of the Alameda/Tesla Expansion for off highway recreation. Neither of them raised any opposition  when they were asked by the state if they had any objections to the purchase of the Alameda/Tesla Expansion for off highway vehicle recreation. The state needed to get their neighbors permission before any final decision was made.

With their neighbors not raising any objections, the state went ahead and bought the Alameda/Tesla Expansion. Soon afterwards Celeste Garamendi started recruiting others to save “Tesla” using political connections and her website, “Friends of Tesla”.

See Group Envisions Tesla Park, Not Carnegie Vehicle Playground written in 2008 at:

Indeed, Connolly’s own father supported Carnegie SVRA when it was originally bought by the state back in the nineteen eighties.

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  1. Mark Martinez says:

    Hi diane your last sentence has always haunted me also what do they really want or what are they afraid of?

    Sent from my iPhone


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