The decision of lawmakers this week to protect Tesla Park in perpetuity was a triumph for environmentalists fighting to protect the 3,100-acre park from off-road vehicles. The agreement removes the land — ripe with biotic zones, vulnerable species and culturally and historically significant sites — from the existing Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area.
The state placed $29.8 million into the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division to help off-roading enthusiasts find another location, which could possibly be a portion of the 87,000-acre Henry W. Coe State Park in Morgan Hill. Those involved called the deal a win-win for both sides.
For now, we celebrate.
But the management of this land should continue to be of community concern. State Parks will need to create a use management plan to protect important natural resources. Shaping this plan will be a public process, meaning resident input will be critical to ensuring it's the best it can be. Many people fought for a long time to protect this valuable property — we can’t lose interest once the ink on a new bill has dried.
We are grateful to those instrumental players who made this possible — Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan; Sen. Steve Glazer; Nancy Rodrigue, Celeste Garamendi and all the members of Friends of Tesla Park; East Bay Regional Park District; the Altamont Landfill Open Space Committee; local officials; and countless others — for their tireless work to help protect Tesla Park. Our entire region will benefit for generations to come from the preservation of this important land.