October 25, 2014

Saving Tesla Park from the off-road sci-fi crowd–Tri-Valley Group–Thursday, November 8

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?

Thursday, November 8, 7:30 pm, Livermore Civic Center Library, 1188 South Livermore Avenue.

If you’ve never been on a hike to the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area, there’s a good reason: it’s a reverse wonderland of ruts and gullies, bare earth denuded of all but the toughest vegetation, and the exhaust fumes of two-stroke engines. Ten-year-olds in fluorescently colored padded suits ride contraptions out of science-fiction movies up steep hillsides–or wipe out trying. If this spot has any redeeming social value, it is as a sacrifice area to concentrate off-roaders to keep them from ravaging other terrains.

If you’ve never been to Tesla Park, on the other hand, it’s because the state Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division has purchased the site, and hasn’t opened it yet to general use. These rolling hills, though, are home to a large variety of rare, threatened, and endangered plant and wildlife species and are a migration route for many bird species, mountain lions, and tule elk. They contain Native American artifacts (some at least 4,000 years old) and hold the site of the abandoned historic coal-mining town of Tesla. It’s a perfect site for a low-impact park and preserve, but the OHMVR Division wants to use it as an addition to the adjacent Carnegie off-roading area.

The TriValley Group welcomes Nancy Rodrigue and Celeste Garamendi of Friends of Tesla Park, who will tell us of the campaign to preserve Tesla from the off-road fate. They will update the information Dan Mosier gave us a few years ago in a presentation and a hike. Come learn what you can do to keep off-road vehicles out of Tesla Park.

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.

For more information, contact Janis Kate Turner at janiskate@gmail.com or (925)443-4372.

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