Carnegie Fans, Urgent Call to Action Needed
Our representative from the Blue Ribbon Coalition, Don Amador has just informed us about the Alameda County Board of Supervisors placing the Carnegie SVRA general plan on its June 23 agenda at 11am. Attend the meeting, send in your comments now!
Alameda County Board of Supervisors
Board Chambers, 5th Floor
1221 Oak Street, Oakland
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Don has written up a sample letter attached including his salient points. Send in your own comments or use the provided letter NOW!. Be sure to include your contact info,
Scott Haggerty, President, Board of Supervisors
c/o Alameda County Planning Department
224 West Winton Avenue, Room 111
Hayward, CA 94544
RE: Draft EIR for the proposed Carnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA) General Plan Revision (GPR), State Clearinghouse Number 2012052027
Dear President Haggerty and Fellow Board Members:
After reviewing the draft letter on the Carnegie SVRA General Plan Revision prepared by Alameda County Planning staff for the board at its June 23, 2015 board meeting, I am concerned about its biased nature and lack of objectivity.
Here are some of my concerns:
ISSUE ONE – Failure to Inform Board on SVRA History
County staff did not include a history of Carnegie SVRA and how it became a unit of the State Park system in July 1980. The original 1,575-acre site, which had been used by off-highway vehicles (OHVs) since the 1940s, was operated as a private motorcycle park from 1970 to 1979 before being purchased by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) using dedicated OHV Trust Funds. Legislative action (California Public Resources Code, Section 5006.48) authorized State Parks to plan, acquire, and develop the site for OHV use. From 1996 to 1998, State Parks used legislatively appropriated OHV Trust Funds to acquire an additional 3,100 acres of neighboring lands to provide expanded OHV recreation opportunities. The additional acreage was classified as SVRA lands and added to Carnegie SVRA. The additional acreage is referred to as the expansion area.
ISSUE TWO – Failure to Inform Board on Goal of Expansion
This plan will help meet the regional demand for managed OHV recreation that includes dirt-bikes, ATVs, SxSs, 4WDs, and SUVs. The original 1,575-acre SVRA has long been enjoyed by the off-road motorcycle community. However, there were few opportunities for the larger OHVs. The expansion area will provide important touring and backcountry type experiences for 4WDs and SxSs on sustainable trails.
ISSUE THREE – Failure to Inform Board on Legislative Compliance
County staff did not inform the board about how this project complies with existing statutes (SB 742) and subsequent revisions which authorizes and directs California State Parks to implement and administer a program to manage and enhance off-highway motor vehicle recreational uses, and motorized off-highway access to non-motorized recreation (Public Resources Code, Sections 5090.01 et seq.)
ISSUE FOUR – Failure to Inform Board on Potential Negative Effects of Grazing
The Center for Biological Diversity states in a report the negative impacts of cattle grazing on the habitat of native species in the East Bay area are readily acknowledged by the agencies and organizations most knowledgeable about these species. Federal wildlife agencies have identified cattle grazing as a factor leading to the listing under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) of multiple species that occur on or have been extirpated from East Bay rangelands. These species include but are not limited to the California red-legged frog, steelhead trout, Alameda whipsnake, and listed species of butterflies, as well as numerous special-status East Bay plants. When compared to managed OHV recreation on trails, the board may find that OHV recreation is preferable to grazing.
ISSUE FIVE – Failure to inform Board about OHV Division’s Holistic Grazing Program
Agency staff failed to inform the board regarding Hollister Hills SVRA’s holistic grazing program. That option is certainly available at Carnegie SVRA should science and state parks find – in subsequent project level planning - there is a need to manage vegetation via grazing.
Hollister Grazing Program
ISSUE SIX – Failure to Inform Board about the Proposed Tesla Road Project
While staff appears to take OHMVR to task for not informing county planning, staff failed to incorporate information about the ongoing Tesla Road improvement project and how it might or might not impact the traffic in the project area. County staff also fails to inform the board on the traffic control law enforcement efforts of state park peace officers.
Tesla Road Project
ISSUE SEVEN – Failure to Inform Board of Park’s Cultural Resource Program
County staff failed to inform the board regarding OHMVR’s ongoing cultural resource protection program at Carnegie SVRA and how those efforts might reduce or mitigate impacts to cultural and historic resources. Failing to acknowledge said efforts creates a negative impression for the board.
Carnegie SVRA Cultural Program
ISSUE EIGHT – Failure to Inform Board of Park’s Biological Resource Protection Program
County staff failed to inform the board regarding OHMVR’s ongoing resource protection program at Carnegie SVRA and how those wildlife monitoring and restoration programs might actually help the county maintain or enhance biological diversity in East County.
Carnegie SVRA Biological Resource Protection Program
Based on the lack of important information related to SVRA management prescriptions, I urge the Board to table a vote on this issue until county staff addresses our concerns and reissues a more objective report and/or recommendation.
Thanks in advance for your review of my concerns.
Any town, USA