Thanks to the efforts of our two state representatives, Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan and Senator Steve Glazer, the Tri-Valley and East Bay moved closer on Friday to safeguarding a beautiful, rugged piece of land against mechanized destruction. Bauer-Kahan and Glazer worked together in the waning days of the legislative session to pass a bill, Assembly Bill 1086, which allows the state Parks and Recreation Department to sell the 3,100-acre Tesla site for conservation rather than develop it for off-road vehicle use.
Tesla is the popular name for the Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area, located right next to the heavily scarred Carnegie off-road vehicle park about 12 miles east of Livermore. Tesla’s future, should it become another Carnegie, is revealed by aerial photos showing moonscape terrain, ripped by spinning tires.
That visual impact tells only part of the story. Oil spills, destruction of historical and anthropological sites, air and noise pollution, disruption of wildlife migration patterns – these could all be in Tesla’s future.
Despite last week’s success, no one should consider the fight over. AB 1086 enables but does not achieve Tesla protection. The many local and regional conservation groups will have to keep up the pressure to combat continuing efforts by off-roaders to persuade the governor not to sign the bill, and Parks and Recreation not to sell the site. The conservationists deserve our support as they do battle. Meantime, last weekend, they rightly took a moment to thank Bauer-Kahan and Glazer for their fine work. We join in praise of public service at its best.