December 6, 2016

Tesla–a park for preservation or for ORVs?

Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area. This is no way to take care of parklands. Should we be adding new acreage to it?

Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area. This is no way to take care of parklands. Should we be adding new acreage to it?

Should the state expand the 1,300-acre Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) to include the 3,400-acre Alameda/Tesla site?

For over 30 years Carnegie, on the Alameda-San Joaquin County border, has been a playground for all sorts of off-road vehicles. This motorized activity has denuded the hills of plant and animal life, and sent enough eroded sediments into Corral Hollow Creek that the park is under state mandate to repair the creek-bed and mitigate for the damages.

The state Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division has purchased the Tesla site, on the eastern boundary of Alameda County near Tracy and 10 miles southeast of Livermore via Tesla Road, with the intention of expanding the Carnegie SVRA. It is currently preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for this project.

Carnegie is an environmental and aesthetic disaster. Tesla should not be opened for similar abuse. The land is home to a large variety of rare, threatened, and endangered plant and wildlife species and is a migration route for many bird species, mountain lions, and tule elk. It contains native American artifacts (some at least 4,000 years old) and is the site of an abandoned historic coal-mining town.

A portion of the Tesla site. Don't let this be torn up by off-road vehicles.

A portion of the Tesla site. Don’t let this be torn up by off-road vehicles.

A better use would be to develop the site as a non-motorized, low-impact park oriented towards historic and natural resources.


To work with the Sierra Club to protect Tesla, contact Janis Kate Turner, chair of the Club’s Tri-Valley Group, at (925)443-4372 or

When the EIR is finished, we will need you to write letters. To be sure of being notified, sign up for the Bay Chapter’s monthly e-mail East Bay Bulletin and “Updates and alerts”.

For an action alert to protect Tesla, go to

For more information, see the web site of Friends of Tesla Park at


  1. Can you guys back off, everywhere I turn you guys constantly cause controversy where there shouldn’t be one. You have enough area to go bird watching and hiking. Can you guys take a hike and leave everyone alone? Just because you don’t like off roaders doesn’t mean we’re going to stop.

  2. Ray Delgado says:

    This little article has some missleading info. OHV(Off Highway Vehicle) use has been confined to this one area and there is some over use. The State parks bought the land next door with OHV tax and fee monies. Much of this land was a former coal mine. There are mine tailing hills and fenced off mine shafts there. The creek bed is now off limits for OHV mostly to just not have an expensive protracted fight. The creek is dry but for perhaps 4-6 weeks a year. Most OHV enthusiasts have a great appreciation of nature. We want our kids to see and enjoy this beautiful earth too. Of over 275 State parks only 8 allow Off Highway recreation. That is certainly not OHV use out of control. There are strict laws on dirtbike noise as well (96db, conversation at 3′ is 60bd).

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