TRACY -- At a meeting Monday, state parks officials will present ideas for expanding off-highway vehicle use at Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area, at a workshop at Tracy High School.

Through a long-anticipated general plan process, the parks department wants to utilize areas of a 3,500 acre parcel it owns southeast of Livermore to expand the neighboring Carnegie. The idea of riding on the Alameda/Tesla land is welcomed by off-road enthusiasts, who say they need more trails, especially for four-seater "side-by-sides."

"We do need to offer our off-highway vehicle community more options at Carnegie," said Diana Mead, regional director of the California Off-Road Vehicle Association, who expects more than 100 enthusiasts to attend.

Expansion is staunchly opposed by environmental groups and preservationists, led by the Friends of Tesla Park, who want the land -- which includes remnants of the historic town of Tesla, Native American sites, and endangered species habitats -- turned into a park and preserve.

"Every inch of it has something unique about it that would designate it as a historical and cultural park," Friends of Tesla Park co-founder Celeste Garamendi said in March.

Carnegie SVRA superintendent Randy Caldera said the workshop will let parks officials present three general plan concepts -- all include some type of motor vehicle use -- for the public to comment on and to answer any questions.


Advertisement

"Everybody will be able to establish their boundaries and draw their line in the sand," Caldera said. "I'm just hoping everyone walks away knowing we did our due diligence."

The concepts detail varying degrees of impacts among them, including additional trails for all-terrain, four-seater, and four-wheel drive vehicles, a visitors center and museum, an OHV training area, additional parking, and camping areas. None call for open riding on the property. Caldera said all three include protected areas, but the maps won't be made public due to their sensitive nature.

"The myth is that we're going to have OHV use through these areas," Caldera said. "We're required by law to protect these historical and cultural sites."

The workshop runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Attendees may view a presentation of the general plan process and visit stations to review each concept with planning teams. The public can also provide written feedback and submit their own alternative concepts.

A final workshop to present the parks department's preferred alternative is tentatively scheduled for September in Livermore or Pleasanton.

Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
California State Parks is holding a public workshop on Monday to take input on development of a general plan for long range management of the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA). The workshop, an open house format, will be held in the cafeteria at Tracy High School, 315 East 11th St. in Tracy from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Information and comment cards will also be available at www.carnegiegeneralplan.com. Comments on the alternatives will be accepted through July 15.