New legislation introduced on Carnegie SVRA

Sign at entrance to Carnegie SVRA in California.

Here we go again with more legislation to stop the Alameda/Tesla Expansion at the Carnegie SVRA. Similar legislation was shot down by both Gov. Brown and Gov. Newsom in the past few years. But they are back again, this time even more aggressively trying to keep the expansion and the SVRA tied up in the Legislature and the courts.

AB 2551 Carnegie SVRA- Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area

AB 2551 was introduced by Assembly Member Bauer-Kahan and co-authored by Senator Glazer.

This bill would authorize the department to dispose of the portion of the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area known as the “Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area” to permanently preserve that land for conservation purposes, as specified, if the department determines that disposing of the land is in the public interest. The bill would require that the land only be sold to a local agency or nonprofit organization for use as a park or other open-space purpose, as specified. The bill would require any revenue from the disposition of the land to, upon appropriation by the Legislature, first be used to reimburse the Department of General Services for any cost or expense incurred in the disposition of the land, and then would require any remaining revenue to be deposited in the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund.

SB 1147- Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area

SB1147 was introduced by Senator Steve Glazer (D) on February 20th, 2020. The bill reads:

“Existing law designates all parks, public campgrounds, monument sites, landmark sites, and sites of historical interest established or acquired by the state, or that are under its control, as the state park system, except as specified. Under existing law, the Department of Parks and Recreation controls the state park system, which is made up of units, one of which is the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area.

This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact subsequent legislation that would preserve the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area for conservation purposes.”

The previous legislation has all been focused on the Alameda-Tesla Expansion property, but now they are going after Carnegie SVRA. This bill looks to remove all OHV from the SVRA.

Cal4 is asking its members and supporters to contact your state senators and state assembly members and encourage them to oppose AB2551 (Alameda- Tesla Expansion) and SB1147 (Carnegie SVRA) when they come up for committee votes later in this legislative session.

Here are some talking points that can be used in your letter, email or FAX:

  • AB2551 would set a dangerous precedent by emboldening local landowners who object to the location of any state park, preserve or beach to push legislation to privatize that specific location.
  • AB2551 would prevent the OHV community a long-awaited opportunity for increased motorized recreational opportunities on the Alameda-Tesla acquisition property which was purchased with 100% funding from the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund in 1998 to expand the Carnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA). 
  • AB2551 may result in a significant loss to the state through the sale of property at less than fair market value
  • AB2551 ignores the fact most of the opposition comes from a few local landowners who have already signed off on the acquisition and the legislatures approval of the purchase expressly for OHV use.
  • AB2551 is not consistent with the approved plan for this Recreation Area as developed by State Parks.
  • All of California’s State Parks including SVRA’s should remain for the benefit of all Californians, not just a select few.
  • Instead of feeling threatened by the expansion of this public park, the local community’s should be grateful that the off road community is developing the site using money from the user funded OHV Trust Fund to purchase, develop and maintain this area for trail driving and to provide a back country experience for everyone.
  • The OHMVR Division works to ensure quality OHV recreational opportunities remain available for future generations by providing for education, conservation and enforcement efforts that balance OHV recreation impacts with programs that conserve and protect cultural and natural resources.
  • SB 1147- Carnegie was purchased by the State in 1979 with OHV Trust Fund money to create Carnegie SVRA for the purpose of OHV recreation   

Please do your part for the OHV Community and take some time to contact your State Senate and Assembly members and the persons listed below to urge them all to oppose both AB2551 and SB1147. 

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom  https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/
  • California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Secretary of Resources Wade Crowfoot This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About the Author

Jeff Blewett

Jeff Blewett

Cal4Wheel Northern Natural Resources Consultant
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