Issues & Positions
Preservation of Tesla Park
In the late 1990s the State of California Parks Department purchased about 3,400 acres in the southeast corner of Alameda County along the Tesla-Corral Hollow Road. The original intent of the purchase was to expand the existing adjacent Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA ) off-highway vehicle (OHV) park into the Tesla Park land.
But as the plans for expansion of the Carnegie SVRA were studied, the devastating impacts of off-highway vehicle use on the unique and fragile Tesla Park land were identified. Proposals for an alternative use plan began to evolve. The goal of Tesla Park as a non-OHV, low impact recreation historic and natural resource park and preserve was formed.
Because of the unique range of historical, cultural, scenic, habitat and biological resources contained in Tesla Park, and considering the destructive impacts of Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use (on display at the adjacent Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area), Friends of Tesla Park is working to develop Tesla Park separate from Carnegie SVRA with no off-highway motor vehicle use.
The rich array of historical, cultural, biological and scenic resources in Tesla Park can serve a range of preservation, recreation and education purposes. Consistent with natural resource protection, low-impact non-OHV recreation, such as interpretive history and nature trails, hiking trails, wildlife viewing, bird watching and horseback riding could be established along with dedicated preservation areas. Tesla Park can also provide outdoor environmental and historical education for area K-12 schools and serve as a field research location for colleges and universities. Protection of Tesla Park matches the charter of East Bay Regional Parks District and supports the objective to establish park and hiking access around the Tri-Valley metropolitan area. EBRPD has recognized the importance of Tesla Park by adding it as an area of interest to its Master plan map.
Tesla Park directly meets State Parks and Natural Resource Agency objectives. Tesla Park as a non-OHV park can serve the State Parks Department priority for low impact recreation as documented in the 2008 Outdoor Recreation Report, including the objective to provide additional nature parks to serve the Central Valley. Tesla Park matches the State Natural Resource Agency purpose to conserve treasured lands and valuable natural resources, including Blue Oak woodlands.
Planet Earth can accommodate a multitude of outdoor recreational activities. Wise and prudent management of those activities involves a careful pairing of an intended usage with an appropriate geographical area. In spite of the fact that Tesla Park land was originally purchased by the state for the purpose of off-road vehicle use, current understanding indicates that the originally proposed usage would be a gross mismatch with the characteristics of the region.
Friends of Livermore supports the objectives of Friends of Tesla Park. We have no particular objection to off-road vehicle recreation when it occurs in appropriate and suitable areas. But because of its unavoidable side effects, specifically the destruction of natural vegetation, habitats, and scenic quality, we feel that it is important to protect the Tesla Park area from this type of usage. We would rather see the utilization of this region better matched to its natural and scenic qualities.
We urge our supporters to study this issue further at Save Tesla Park.