SB 767 (Glazer) Off-highway vehicular recreation: Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area: Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area
(As Introduced February 22, 2019)
SB 767 (Glazer) will be heard in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee on Tuesday, April 23, 9:30 a.m., at the Capitol, Room 4203.
The Off Road Vehicle Legislative Coalition is comprised of several statewide or regional organizations of OHV enthusiasts.
Our coalition has reviewed SB 767 and strongly opposes this bill that would deny opportunities for local Bay Area residents, including the elderly and disabled and motorized recreation enthusiasts. The land in question was purchased using funds from the Off Highway Vehicle Trust Fund, with agreement as to the future purpose of the land signed by adjacent landowners. Additionally, no other serious bidders entered into negotiations to purchase the land referred to in SB 767 as the Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area at that time. Subsequent to the purchase of the land by the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division of State Parks, extensive work was begun to correct 20 years of previous neglect, including disregard of cultural and natural resources, and to bring the property up to the high environmental standards mandated by State Parks.
California’s environmental justice statute promotes the fair treatment of all people, regardless of economic advantage. State Parks takes adherence to these principles outlined in Government Code Section 65040.12 very seriously and therefore has proposed a plan for the Alameda -Tesla Expansion Area that enhances opportunities for all California residents. SB 767 ignores the inclusiveness outlined in the general plan for the expansion property that illustrates a multiple use park, including trails of varying difficulty, remote camping access, picnic areas, and also significant environmental buffer zone designations. The proposed layout for the park showcases family opportunities and allows access for individuals with physical limitations.
SB 767 proposes the Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area should be under the control of the privileged instead of the proven stewardship of State Parks. The transfer of the land from State Parks to some sort of public/private partnership would also serve to eliminate the security of state law insuring inclusiveness and access for all Californians.
State Parks is tasked with managing natural and cultural resources for all 280+ state parks in California. The Department has repeatedly demonstrated proficiency at this task. State Parks owns the parcel known as the Carnegie Expansion area. Logic and fiscal accountability point to State Parks being the appropriate and the best steward for this land.
Two years ago, the legislature widely supported and passed SB 249 (Allen, Chapter 459, Statutes of 2017), which created a series of environmental responsibilities including monitoring and review for all land overseen by State Parks and managed by the Off Highway Motorized Recreation Division. The environmental responsibilities in SB 249 go far beyond what any local county, city or non-profit is mandated or can afford to provide. For conservation reasons alone, the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area should be left in the control of State Parks and thereby benefit from the funding, manpower, knowledge, and experience only the state can bring to this site.
SB 767 would set a dangerous precedent by encouraging local landowners who object to the location of any state park, preserve or beach to push legislation to privatize that specific location. As prices for real estate have increased in areas surrounding the Bay Area, adjacent landowners have realized they would profit more from the eventual sale of their holdings should they be successful in removing this existing state park. This action would support privatization of public land, and hurt many Californians looking forward to enjoying experiences the Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area will have to offer upon completion.
State parks should remain for the benefit of all Californians, not just a select few.