Red alert they want it all and they want it now: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB1316

SB-1316 Off-highway vehicular recreation: Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area: Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area.(2017-2018). Read it and weep. Here are the proposed changes to the public resources code SECTION 1. Section 5090.42 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read as follows:

5090.42. (a) Notwithstanding Sections 11011 and 11011.1 of the Government Code, the department may dispose of the portion of the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area known as the “Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area,” which encompasses approximately 3,100 acres in the County of Alameda, to permanently preserve that land for conservation purposes by sale of a perpetual recorded conservation easement deed restriction or fee title, if the department, after holding public hearings on the matter and in consultation with stakeholders, determines that disposing of the land is in the public interest.

(b) (1) If the department determines that disposing of the land is in the public interest, the Department of General Services may sell the land or otherwise dispose of the land pursuant to this authorization upon any terms and conditions and subject to any reservations and exceptions that the Department of General Services deems to be in the best interests of the state.

(2) The Director of General Services may transfer the land to a local agency for less than fair market value if the local agency agrees to use the land as a park or for another open-space purpose, in which case the deed or other instrument of transfer shall provide that the property interest would revert from the local agency to the state if the land is used for a purpose other than as a park or another open-space purpose during the 25 years after the transfer date.

(3) For purposes of this subdivision, “open-space purpose” means a use of the land’s natural resources that is consistent with a conservation purpose, including preservation of native biological diversity, wildlife habitats, and cultural resources, enjoyment of scenic beauty, and nonmotorized public recreation.

(c) Any revenue from the disposition of the land shall be deposited in the fund for the purchase, by the department, of land for off-highway vehicle recreation.

They are at it again. The instigators, Mark Connolly and his wife, Celeste Garamendi (Friends of Tesla); have about a nine thousand acre cattle ranch bordering on our OHV park. After trying to get the East Bay Regional Park District to take over our land for non-motorized recreation; they are now backing this legislation. The regional park did not have the money to purchase our land and now they want to give it away for less than current market value.

Carnegie SVRA is located on Tesla-Corral Hollow Road between Tracy and  Livermore and shares its northern border with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Our neighbor is Superfund Site 300 and is situated on 7,000 acres in rural foothills approximately six miles southwest of downtown Tracy and 15 miles southeast of Livermore

Garamendi and Connolly  want to take away our small 3,100 acre expansion. They have lined up congressional support to make new law because their long time involvement in challenging the approved New General Plan that includes the Alameda/Tesla expansion is failing. They didn’t get what they want in court and so they just use their political muscle to get the law changed by passing new legislation aimed at only this one issue.

The Senate bill  is directed specially at taking away our state OHV park and turning it into a non motorized vehicle park. They have their personal priorities but there are only one or two off road vehicle recreation areas within a hundred miles in the Bay Area; while there are thousands and thousands of miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.   East Bay Regional Park District maintains and operates a system of regional parks which is the largest urban regional park district in the United States.

From the East BAy Regional Parks Districts website: “As of 2015, EBRPD spans 120,000 acres with 65 parks and over 1,200 miles (1,900 km) of trails. Some of these parks are wilderness areas; others include a variety of visitor attractions, with opportunities for swimming, boating and camping. The trails are frequently used for non-motorized transportation such as biking, hiking, and horse riding.”

The board of directors at EBRPD all equally despise the concept of off road vehicle recreation. Their mission is to expand their park lands as much as possible. In fact they have our Alameda/Tesla expansion on a map of future acquisitions. There have been discussions between the board of directors and Garamendi about taking over our land for non-motorized recreation. Like they need it! See: https://carnegiejournal.com/2012/09/16/the-carnegie-battle-rages-on-as-the-east-bay-regional-park-district-includes-the-alamedatesla-property-in-their-master-plan/

Let’s look at their arguments the primary ones being ecological and cultural lack of diversity along with unacceptable water and air quality.

That is all well and good but Superfund Site 300 released hazardous materials in the mid to late 1940s (Thorpe et al. 1990). There is also evidence that localized spills, leaking tanks and impoundments, and landfills contributed VOCs, fuel  hydrocarbons, metals, and tritium to the unsaturated zone and groundwater in the post Navy era. The Livermore site was placed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Priorities List in 1987. (Livermore Site Environmental Restoration Project)


Aside from a few dangerous chemicals in their water supply the Site looks like a pretty appealing place for wildlife. The hazards are all invisible and they presumable leak out into our property which is right across the road from the facility.

Carnegie is surrounded by a Superfund site on one side and cattle ranching on the other side with the hillsides around Carnegie suffering the damage done by the ubiquitous cattle ranching that contributes to the dry and eroded hillsides along Tesla/Corral Hollow Road.

With development and roads expanding all over Livermore; it is getting harder and harder for wildlife to survive. Maybe that is why there are so many endangered and rare species in Carnegie and on the Alameda/Tesla expansion.  We ride on trails that are like roads that go through the hillsides. They are not impervious surfaces like asphalt causing excessive run off and don’t impact the quality of the environment like cattle.

Why is Carnegie devoid of the ecological devastation going on around us? We only have to look on the other side of our border to see the damage.  Our neighbor’s cattle pollutes the water supply with cattle dung, the air with CO3 and they trample down and eat everything growing out of the soil. Their cattle ranch is without biological diversity but they are in court challenging the New General Plan because they say that they are trying to protect biological diversity in our land. Now they are using their connections to change the law.

Can you say hypocrites? They obviously don’t care about the environment (they sell permits to kill elk on their property). Why do they want take our land and turn it into a conservation area? I wonder if they hope to acquire it eventfully; maybe to off set the damage done on their nine thousand acres. Who knows….

Our land is so magnificently full of ecological and cultural diversity that a bill introduced in the Senate, Senate Bill 1316 …-Tesla Expansion Area.(2017-2018) to permanently preserve that land for conservation purposes, as specified, if the department determines that disposing of the land is in the public interest.

The Alameda/Tesla expansion doesn’t need to be made into a conservation park and turned over to someone else. It already is already designed to be an ecologically sound park with trails and areas designed for the propagation of ecological and cultural diversity. The New General Plan focuses on our adversaries’ comments and criticisms to make it conform to their standards.  They admit that the Alameda/Tesla Expansion was legally purchased with OHV Trust Fund money but now they want to take it away from us and change it into a conservation area.

This is after an environmental impact statement was approved and they went to court to stop the Alameda/Tesla expansion from opening. They must be losing or why would they try to change the law? It was also done to us a few years ago when they stole almost a million dollars a year from the OHV Trust Fund to go into the General Fund. Can you say highway robbery? And they are trying to do it to us again.

They are spreading their lies on the internet and speaking to  congressional representative like Senator Glazer and assembly member Baker. Garamendi and Connolly are members of a very political influential family in California and there seems to be no limit to their attempts to take away our public park..

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black…  and they are opposed to opening our Alameda Tesla expansion for the impact it will have on cultural and ecological diversity and the impact on the air quality.

Let’s take a look at the impact of cattle ranching on the environment compared to the impact of a few trails where we ride our bikes on the weekend.

The 2006 report Livestock’s Long Shadow, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, states that “the livestock sector is a major stressor on many ecosystems and on the planet as a whole. Globally it is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases (GHG) and one of the leading causal factors in the loss of biodiversity, while in developed and emerging countries it is perhaps the leading source of water pollution.”[1] Removing all U.S. agricultural animals would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2.6%.[2] (In this and much other FAO usage, but not always elsewhere, poultry are included as “livestock”.) A 2017 study published in the journal Carbon Balance and “Management found animal agriculture’s global methane emissions are 11% higher than previous estimates based on data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change..] According to production data compiled by the FAO, 74 percent of global livestock product tonnage in 2011 was accounted for by non-meat products such as wool, eggs and milk.[5][not in citation given] Meat is also considered one of the prime factors contributing to the current sixth mass extinction.[6][7][8][9]”

“All agricultural practices have been found to have a variety of effects on the environment. Some of the environmental effects that have been associated with meat production are pollution through fossil fuel usage, animal methane, effluent waste, and water and land consumption. Meat is obtained through a variety of methods, including organic farming, free range farming, intensive livestock production, subsistence agriculture, hunting, and fishing.”


They talk about Tesla Park as if it was already a conservation area. But there is no Tesla Park; nor has there ever been. There used to be a coal mining town there called Tesla.

“The environmental impact of the coal industry includes issues such as land use, waste management, water and air pollution, caused by the coal mining, processing and the use of its products. In addition to atmospheric pollution, coal burning produces hundreds of millions of tons of solid waste products annually, including fly ash,[1] bottom ash, and flue-gas desulfurization sludge, that contain mercury, uranium, thorium, arsenic, and other heavy metals.

The environmental impact of mining includes erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water by chemicals from mining processes. Besides creating environmental damage, the contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals also affects the health of the local population.[1]”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_mining


The Tesla mine was never properly shut down to minimize its impact on the surrounding hills and the water supply. It is still releasing toxic substances into the water. At one time the coal was used by the Carnegie Brick factory and there was a big kiln dug into the hillside.

In addition, the toxic products of burning coal; coal residue was dumped in the hills. The heavy metals which our neighbor sought to control with lawsuits aimed at shutting down our park was caused by these mines and not by off highway vehicles. If internal combustion engines create hazardous heavy metals, all our lakes and streams in this country would be polluted with over  263.6 million (over a quarter of a billion) registered passenger vehicles in the United States in 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_vehicles_in_the_United_States

So here we go again with a statute that requires stakeholders (our neighbors) to comment on the need to create an conservation area on our land with no off highway vehicles allowed. We have to remember that we as riders are stakeholder and we need to submit our own comments.

We also have to write or e-mail our state representative and tell them to vote against the senate bill because it is an attempt to get around the safety net that is already in place to make sure that off highway vehicle recreation is not a hazard to the environment. The procedure for getting our expansion approved goes the entire nine yards with public comment and severe restrictions on the way that we can use our property. A big portion of it is kept free of trails to preserve the environment. No trails are allowed above streams or in the wildlife corridor with many other restrictions to preserve the cultural and ecological treasures of this wonderful piece of property. What is the beef?


Don’t let our enemies’ lies go undetected. It might be too early yet, but you can find your state representatives and write to them opposing SB-1316 Off-highway vehicular recreation: Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area: Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area.(2017-2018) bill. You can find your candidates’ e-mail addresses here. http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

This entry was posted in Carnegie. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Bruce Kelley says:

    We need to show up at their offices or one of their town hall meetings en masse with signs and let them know how we feel.

  2. Debra Kennedy says:

    I live in Arkansas and I do know one thing if you take away all the trails for people and their bikes and you take away Carnegie from the people that have been going there for ever and their children and their children’s children you’re going to create an environment for the children to go to drugs and other things to satisfy their need for entertainment and the means for family bonding Bad ideals come from greedy people what ever it takes we need to stop them from succeeding closing Carnegie motorcycle park. Would be a horrible choice

  3. Diana Tweedy says:

    Thank you Debra. We need to keep recreational opportunities open for all our children. I think that all Carnegie riders and especially our advocates need to get involved while the senate and then the assembly are debating and voting on the bill in Sacramento. Of course letters and e-mails to our state representatives is important too. They have to know how popular Carnegie is with their constituents and how much we need to open up the Alameda/Tesla expansion.

  4. Jeff says:

    Debra, I also thank you for such a comprehensive view of the situation.
    It’s curious I have not seen any other notifications from the ARRA or the Blue Ribbon Coalition.
    Keep it up, and I humbly suggest that you (or somebody) post your links on the South Bay Riders website, perhaps a larger audience that would help….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s