News

Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area bill reaches governor's desk

AB 1086 would let state sell part of 3,100-acre Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area outside Livermore

A large swath of East Bay open space is one step closer to potential preservation after a bill from the Tri-Valley's state legislators was sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk last Friday.

Authored by Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) and Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), Assembly Bill 1086 would give the state the option to sell part of the 3,100-acre Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) located just southeast of Livermore -- better known known as the Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area -- if the California Department of Parks and Recreation decides the sale is in the public interest.

It would also mandate that any sale proceeds be deposited in the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division Trust Fund. Both houses of the State Legislature approved the measure on Sept. 13; the bill passed on the State Assembly floor 56-21 and then in the State Senate 30-10.

For almost 20 years, the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division and State Parks have been caught in a legal battle with local stakeholders over off-highway expansion plans. Bauer-Kahan said the new legislation would add clarity to the situation.

"This rich biological and cultural area has been tied up for years in the courts," Bauer-Kahan said in a statement. "This bill clears up uncertainty that has been plaguing our region by giving the Department of Parks the authority to sell this land if they see fit."

The Carnegie SVRA has experienced declining attendance since 2007, but AB 1086 would not affect the existing riding area or take away any off-highway trail driving areas.

Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California, called the bill "a key step in fixing a mistake that was made in the late 1990s" when the property was acquired.

"Now an incredibly important natural area has a chance to be preserved for all Californians to enjoy," Phillips said.

The entire Alameda-Tesla Expansion area is in Alameda County, but the Carnegie SVRA rests in both Alameda and San Joaquin counties.

Scientists have long studied the area's rare and unique biodiversity, including many threatened, endangered and listed species, critical habitats, and a habitat corridor that is considered crucial for the Diablo Range.

It also boasts several important cultural artifacts including Native American resources and the site of the historic mining town Tesla and mining complex.

"This legislation provides a sound mechanism to resolve a long-standing dispute over the future use and protection of this land," Glazer said. "It is my hope that this legislation will lead to the preservation of these fragile natural lands and important cultural resources."

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Comments

10 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 18, 2019 at 6:04 am

For those of us who enjoy OHV recreation, this was stolen from us. They describe this place as a shangri-la, it is the Altamont hills. It is hot, windy and desolate. They could have fenced of the environmentally sensitive areas like they did at Carnegie right next door. This was nothing more than a private interest group funded by the neighboring ranch owner Garamendi (name sound familiar?). We would all like to buy a property next to an airport and have the airport shut down, this is the same thing. This was big money and the political influence that comes with it. I hope you enjoy hiking in the yellow star thistle.


7 people like this
Posted by Dave G.
a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2019 at 7:04 pm

Re: State Parks and Bill AB-1086 Comment. As a member of the motorized recreation community, first recreating at the facility BEFORE it was a State Park, I have followed the process going back to the purchase date. As this is the 3rd time, via a Gut and Amend Bill by the story authored by the Assembly Women identified in the story, she should have known this attempt diminished Senate protocol as a "last Minute" effort to push a bill, and usually defeated in Committee, but was push through last minute. READ the bill, and understand the effort here is a District bill, but affects entire state for recreation opportunity for millions of recreationists. Alas, as many know a strong effort of deceit has been pushed by certain landowners close by, who are screaming NIMBY, but what is funny, these same folks SOLD the property in question to the State. Worse yet, the author of this bill wants to sell it, and cited selling it at what was paid for it. Is this nuts? Real Estate in Bay Area and sell at cost purchased decades ago. Sounds like litigation is in the near future......... So the public knows, some have filed lawsuits as a back up to 3 bills saying the same thing over and over, year after year. Proof? Contact State Parks and ASK. This is just "Bad Government" in my opinion..... Pioneer, Ca


7 people like this
Posted by Derek
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 19, 2019 at 5:42 am

I echo Dave's comments. The ONLY place to ride in the entire county is Carnegie. It is in the middle of the Altamont, and to call ~2000 acres a "large swath of East Bay open space" is also very misleading and an unfortunate example of poor journalism. (We expect better, Julie) And to argue that it has cultural significance is dishonest; it was a former mine! This land is adjacent to the Garamendi family land that they use for hunting excursions. This is a politically connected family, with the adjacent land owner including a sitting Congressman and a former Insurance commissioner as a direct relative! It is easy to see the connection and understand the influence of a Congressman from a different area of the state having influence on our county. Finally, the land was paid by the OHV commission via the specific use fees levied on OHV riders!! If you are about justice and logic, please oppose this bill. Send a note to the governor (Web Link). AB1086:
- Sets dangerous precedent for local political activists to close ANY State Park unit they object to.
- Disenfranchises an important user community and recreation activity.
- Ignores previous legislative action that authorized legal OHV use on lands purchased with dedicated funds.
- Not one of the AB 1086 proponents opposed the purchase and authorizing legislation.
- The Department of Finance opposed SB 767 (proceeding bill).


3 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 19, 2019 at 7:36 am

You think Gavin Newsome is going to protect the rights/interests of off road enthusiasts?


2 people like this
Posted by Dave G.
a resident of another community
on Sep 19, 2019 at 8:43 am

Dave G. is a registered user.

Pleasanton Parent. YES, I do think he will veto this bill. This bill, a 3rd effort via Gut & Amend does NOT have the support of Department of State Parks, and never has. Ditto the last bill effort died in Committee, basically as Punitive & Discriminatory and is a bill TARGETED only to this ONE State Park to benefit the Family who sold the property to DPR many years ago, then got every environmental group to sign on, as well as the County of Alameda. Derek pointed out many facts above, so I will add to this. Most folks don't know that the OHV Trust Fund has given Grant money to the AC Sheriff's Department, as well as In-Lieu Funds to the County every 6 months for decades. -0- dollars from the General Fund. These funds COULD go away like SF/Marin/San Mateo county has...... Special note is AC, as they have attended EVERY committee hearing over the years, and AC Taxpayers have paid County employee's to go up to Sacramento, wait hours for the meeting, and say for the record AC supports the demise of the property. I wonder what this cost the AC taxpayer for 30+ hearings in labor, travel and bridge toll costs, and being away for a full day AT AC cost when they could be doing regular work for AC... Hmmm? Readers, get the FACTS! You might ask the Chairman of Board of Supervisors for the accounting of the AC Taxpayer's COSTS for the Lawsuit they filed against State Parks. Imagine that, suing the State to benefit the few is a facility intended for legal, managed and responsible family OHV recreation, not to mention the positive tourist dollars that benefit ALL AC taxpayers. Just ask the Chamber of Commerce. Get real folks, this whole mess is SCAM, and puts agencies of the State at risk. Last, the OHV program is 100% self funded, no red ink, has reserves and nearly a 49 year old program. And not ONE stink'in penny came from the General Fund. Sorry about the length of this, but needs to be said. Seems also possible for a lot of PRC's to be filed against AC County for costs to the taxpayer.. (Public Record Act)
BTW - EBRPD once had a legal OHV area called Redwood Hills. Closed it with PROMISE
to relocate. NEVER happened and they LIED. But they did do a bill to get $200,000 for restoration. Guess who paid for that. The OHV Trust Fund...............


2 people like this
Posted by Dave G.
a resident of another community
on Sep 19, 2019 at 9:07 am

Dave G. is a registered user.

Continued personal Opinion.
Now here is something rich, but the public needs to know. The Authors and Supporters of this bill, want to set the SELLING price of the new property at a COST of what the OHV Trust Fund of State Parks paid for it 20 years ago. Talk about a RIP-OFF!
Can you imagine the INCREASE in this Bay Area property at 2019 prices????
This is NOT leadership from the author of this bill, and the last bill by Senator Glaser. It is business as usual from Sacramento and the supporters of the bill, to commit FRAUD in my opinion. Sad to say this is sitting Congressman John Garamendi's sister and her husband leading the charge on as they filed suit against Dep't of State Parks. (DPR) Guess what folks, the Attorneys General Office is fighting these lawsuits, wasting YOUR taxpayer dollars and wasting precious DPR Trust Fund monies. Is this what the people want? I don't think so in my opinion. Off the road recreation is a FAMILY sport, and the Bay Area resident's need a legal and managed area to recreate. BTW - The Federal Commerce Department recently did a social economic report. Guess What? Motorized Recreation is Number 1 for family in the entire country...... This is what AMERICANS want to do!


4 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 20, 2019 at 5:50 am

I just read an article by the Independent describing "Tesla Park" as one of the most beautiful places in eastern Alameda county. Why don't I see bird watchers and hikers at Carnegie? It's open to the public, I have gone there to ride mountain bikes before. I'll tell you why, it is not how they describe it. It is hot, windy and desolate. There is a nuclear test facility right across the street, why don't they shut that down? Because it is not adjacent to the Garamendi ranch! There is no Tesla Park, this is all marketing to make it sound like we are losing a park. Carnegie does a great job of mitigating environmental concerns by fencing off environmentally sensitive areas. Right now half the park is closed for restoration. The already approved EIR for the expansion includes much of the same closed off environmentally sensitive areas, which I am in favor of since I am also concerned for the environment. I am a 62 year old lifelong Democrat and I am not in favor of this land grab. We paid for this land with OHV funds. Oh, and this point about OHV ridership numbers are down, that is even more reason that having fewer riders spread across more area equals less impact.


Like this comment
Posted by Emily
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 20, 2019 at 10:57 am

What a great accomplishment to get AB 1086 (Bauer-Kahan) Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area passed by the Legislature. It is a necessary step toward permanent protection of Tesla. Next step is to work to get the Governor to sign the bill into law.

The local cooperation to preserve the 3,100 acre Alameda Tesla Expansion Area is a welcome example of what can happen when a community works together. Kudos to our new Assembly Member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan and Senator Glazer for their work on AB 1086.


2 people like this
Posted by Not Dave
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Sep 21, 2019 at 4:19 pm

Dave

If you are really a 62 year old life long democrat, you should have noticed by now that a moderate Democrat from 1975 would be outed on social media and crucified for speaking his mind on “sensitive” issues.

At some point you need to grow up and realize the dems in a sac today don’t represent people like you at all, and they haven’t in at least a decade and half now.


2 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2019 at 2:34 pm

Emily, don't be fooled by the Garamendi's, just like the Sierra Club and other conservation groups have been. This land is going to make its way into the hands of John Garamendi's sister and she is going to use it for raising cattle. The land is going to be sold at 1999 real estate prices and in a year of raising cattle they're going to make over $1.5 million and that's excluding the instant equity from purchasing the land. If you truly care about conserving the land, you'd want to reject this slimy politician backdoor AB 1086 and keep the land in the hands of the state for actual conservation. They're presenting your choices as motorcyclists or the environment, but it's actually motorcyclists or cattle. If you truly care about Tesla Park, please select neither by speaking against AB 1086 and seek a different option.

In addition to keeping these 3,100 acres, we also need to look at the existing Garamendi lease of 7,500 acres. We need to get this land back from the Garamendi family and create a 10,600 acres park and keep their water consuming land destroying cattle off of it. People also need to be asking how the Garamendi's secured their existing 7,500 acre lease. If it's another shady backdoor deal that points back to John, because he's working a little too hard to take care of his family. What are the odds that over 10,000 acres of state land just happens to hame its way into his family? There's really nobody else in the Bay that was more interested in the land?

John is holding a town hall in Davis at the Vet's Memorial at 3pm on October 14th to discuss "the state of affairs in Washington", but I guess they don't have mirrors in Davis either.


Like this comment
Posted by Veto
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2019 at 10:10 pm

It was vetoed by the Governor on 10/11.

However, the good news is the Governor signed the bill which was opposed by the teacher's union which mandates later school start times. High schools must start at 8:30 AM or later and middle school must start at 8:00 AM or later.


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 14, 2019 at 7:31 am

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Why are later start times a good thing? Seems schools are disconnected from working parents.


Like this comment
Posted by Veto
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2019 at 9:42 am

Pleasanton needs to have busing like most other school districts do so that children are not dependent on their parents to ferry them back and forth to school prior to parents starting the commute to work. This is the way most districts work.

Schools ends so early here that the city library has become a defacto child care center for Hearst and PMS students.

It is absurd that here middle school students have to show up to school in Pleasanton at 7:35 AM, in some cases before the sun even rises in the winter, in order to have P.E. in the dark four days a week. This is when the middle schools have no office open, no administrators present, and parents are directed to drop off children to have classes with no supervision other than a couple of P.E. teachers being at school. No school should have classes without the office being closed and principal and vice principals being present like happens today.

The governor has had to stop the practice of early start times because it is detrimental to children's health and learning to have such early start times and no one in the community gets a say to when school will start other than the unions that are driven by their self-interest. Start and end times and the school calendar are controlled only by the unions and the parents in the community have no input. These are part of closed door bargaining negotiations. Teachers want to get out of work as soon as feasible so that they can double dip and can go off to tutoring centers in the afternoon to tutor students for private pay.

Seriously, back when I went to school, the first class started at 9:00 AM and school ended at 3:10. Teachers were required to be present by 8:15 and leave at 3:30 and all of their teacher meetings were done prior to school so there was no need for an absurd "collaboration" day like there is on Wednesday each week.

PUSD needs to ditch the A period and follow the law, starting middle schools at 8 AM or later. And high schools at 8:30 AM or later. And they need to have busing.


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 14, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

PP, schools are connected to students first (if we are lucky). All the studies (over a period of years) have indicated that later start times for teenagers are important. Some of it is mental health. Here is a Time magazine article from 2017. Web Link I'm sure there is more information and links to the studies to be found.

Veto, Buses are not coming back.

I think the assumption is that high school students should be capable of getting to school on their own (walk, cycle, Wheels, driving). Even middle school students can/should be independent enough for everything but driving.


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 14, 2019 at 3:58 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

If we're talking about 7:30 - 8:30 move, I do understand that, even 9am.


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