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On December 13, EBCNPS submitted comments in response to the Preferred Concept Public Workshop held on November 12, 2013 which presented the draft preferred concept for the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) General Plan. These comments come in advance of the State’s publication of the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Carnegie General Plan Revision which will consider whether to opoen the State’s 3,400 acre Alameda-Tesla property (Tesla Park) to off road vehicles for recreation.
The property in question is of concern to EBCNPS because it makes up the core of our Corral Hollow Botanical Priority Protection Area due to the migration corridor and habitat it provides for several valuable plant species and communities.
Our letter can be viewed here: FINAL_EBCNPS Response to Preferred Concept Public Workshop 12_13_13
The presentation packet from the Preferred Concept Meeting can be viewed here: http://carnegiegeneralplan.com/system/assets/57/original/preferred_concept_public_workshop_infopacket_final_20131108_web.pdf
On December 6, EBCNPS submitted comments for the Bay Bridge Gateway Park NOP. A copy of the NOP can be viewed at this address: http://baybridgegatewaypark.com/pdf/NOP-BATA_10-30-13.pdf.
EBCNPS’s main concerns with this project are related to the increased access and restoration proposed for Radio Beach. The beach and its adjacent dune habitat provide habitat for several rare plant species. We are hopeful that the eventual plans for this area include phased restoration and effective protection for the dune habitat to ensure that any increased access via a new trail system does not degrade the ecosystem.
Our comment letter can be viewed here: Final EBCNPS Comments for Gateway Park NOP 12_6_13
EBCNPS plans to continue to follow this ongoing project and any updates will be posted here.
Since 2012, the Conservation Committee has been following and participating in a two year scoping study for a proposed roadway between Tracy and Brentwood. This roadway is being dubbed “TriLink” or State Route 239, and it is being considered due to a $14 million federal earmark grant to study the feasibility of such a project. As part of our participation as a member of the NGO stakeholders study group, EBCNPS has submitted comments regarding the rare and unique natural resources that could be impacted by the proposed roadway, and we have provided the planners with our BPPA files so that they may consider our BPPAs as planning proceeds for potential roadway alignments. The study area for this roadway includes sections of our Altamont and Byron BPPAs.
On September 12th, the Draft Feasibility Study was released for public review. You can view the Draft Feasibility Study HERE. EBCNPS reviewed the information presented and submitted a comment letter on November 1. Our letter notes specific species and communities in the study area that require avoidance in any construction plan, as well as the importance of considering regionally significant/locally rare plants during any pre-construction surveys and project design considerations. A copy of our letter can be found here: Final EBCNPS Comments for TriLink Feasibility Study 10_31_13.
EBCNPS plans to continue to follow this ongoing project and any updates will be posted here.
Last week, EBCNPS submitted a letter to the planners at LBNL and UC Berkeley regarding the Long Range Development Plan for the proposed “Richmond Bay Campus” that is to be built at the Richmond Field Station. Our letter was a collaborative process that several Conservation Committee members participated in. It details EBCNPS’s “vision” for the site and the development. The intent of this letter was to get a strong statement on the record of how this project should be built in order to ensure the rare natural resources of the site remain intact and thriving. We also note where the existing shortcomings of the plan are. We are hopeful that our comments will be considered as part of the planning process in order to create a plan for the Richmond Bay Campus that celebrates and protects the natural resources at the site.
EBCNPS is currently working on a more detailed letter that will specify the areas of highest native habitat value that must be protected.
Our letter can be viewed here: EBCNPS Vision Statement for Richmond Bay Campus_2013
The City of Newark is currently working on a General Plan Revision. Among the proposed changes to the general plan are land-use changes that pave the way for the development of an 18-hole golf course and nearly 500 houses on 550 acres of historic baylands. The area in question, referred to as “area 4” overlaps a section of our Warm Springs BPPA.
On September 26th, I submitted a comment letter in support of preserving this as-yet undeveloped area of tidal marshands and uplands as part of the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge rather than developing it into a golf course and housing units. Our letter echoes the concerns and recommendations of other environmental groups who have weighed in on this issue including Save the Bay, the Sierra Club, Ohlone Audubon Society, Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge, San Francisco Baykeeper, and the USFWS.
You can view a copy of our letter here: EBCNPS Letter to Newark RE Area 4 General Plan
On July 15, 2013, EBCNPS submitted a letter in response to the alternatives that were presented by the California Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division of State Parks for the future use of the Alameda/Tesla Parcel also known as Tesla Park.
EBCNP’s letter adresses the need for adequate vegetation mapping before a general plan for this entire area that will determine future use of the land is created. We also express concern that none of the three Concept Alternatives presented by OHMVR demonstrate optimization for protection of natural resources. We have asked State OHMVR to craft a new alternative that provides for optimal natural resource protection, especially in light of the diverse array of native habitat and rare plants known to be present on the site.
We will keep you updated on our ongoing work to gain permanent protection for this important area (part of our Corral Hollow BPPA).
In a great bit of conservation news, the East Bay Regional Park District has announced that it will buy the 1,885 acre Roddy Ranch south of Antioch in Eastern Contra Costa County. This property makes up part of EBCNPS’s Four Valleys Botanical Priority Protection Area and we are hopeful that with Park District ownership, this land will remain protected and preserved in the future. Before the EBRPD’s announcement that they were purchasing the land, this parcel was under great pressure from developers. You can view EBCNPS’s past comment letter regarding development plans for this area here: http://ebcnps.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/ebcnps-submitts-comments-for-recirculated-roddy-ranch-deir/
The Contra Costa Times has reported on this purchase and you can view that article here: http://www.contracostatimes.com/contra-costa-times/ci_23489648/east-bay-regional-park-district-buy-roddy-ranch
EBCNPS is working with Friends of Tesla Park to establish the Tesla Park land in eastern Alameda County as a natural and historic park and preserve for low-impact recreation. The State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR), however, continues on its EIR march to turn this botanically rich spot into a haven for off-highway vehicles.
Long recognized for its biodiversity, our East Bay Chapter identified the Tesla Park area in Corral Hollow as one of our Botanical Priority Protection Areas. These rolling hills along corral Hollow Creek are home to a large variety of rare, threatened, and endangered plant and wildlife species and are a migration route for many bird species, mountain lions, and tule elk and more. They contain Native American artifacts (some at estimated at over 5,000 years old) and hold the site of the abandoned historic coal-mining town of Tesla. It’s a perfect site for a low-impact park and nature preserve managed to protect the ecological resources.
We need your help throughout the EIR process. The OHMVR Division recently issued three Concepts for Tesla Park that all provide for OHV use from Intensive Use to Less Intensive Use. Public Comments must be submitted by the July 15, 2013 deadline.
Now is the time to speak up for Tesla Park and reject the Concepts for OHV use in this important native landscape.
Workshop materials can be reviewed at http://carnegie.engage-sites.com/. You may submit your comments online at the Carnegie general plan web site, or email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you use the online OHMVR Comment Card to reject the 3 Concepts, take care when completing it as it is structured to force support of the OHMVR Concepts.
The 3 OHV Use Concepts for Tesla need to be REJECTED because:
- Biological and Cultural Resource Guidelines, Constraint Map and Recreation Suitability Map which are the basis for the Concepts are inadequate and not supported by scientific data
- There should be NO OHV Use in Tesla Park whether in free ride areas (now called distributed riding areas) or on trails
- A Non-OHV Use Alternative must be evaluated in the General Plan development and DEIR stage because it is the only Alternative that can protect Tesla Park’s sensitive resources.
If you are planning to submit by email, feel free to use the form letter below:
The proposed Concepts for the Tesla site are all totally unacceptable. All three Concepts must be rejected because they all provide for OHV use in the sensitive Tesla park land and do not protect its natural resources. You must study an alternative–not a no-action alternative–that excludes off-highway vehicles from the site and actively preserves its natural native landscape and historic values for non-motorized public enjoyment, research and education.
Please share this Tesla Park Alert with all of your contacts and ask them to email OHMVR to oppose the OHMVR plan for Tesla Park. We need to provide overwhelming support to protect Tesla as a Non-OHV park and preserve throughout the EIR process.
Please email Mack Casterman at email@example.com for more information or if you have any questions. Thank you for your continued help to Save Tesla Park.
Please follow this link to join the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, the Friends of Knowland Park and the Center for Biological Diversity in calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect this park from the zoo’s destructive expansion plan!
To follow along with our work to save Knowland Park, please “like” us on Facebook and share this info with your friends and neighbors. You can also visit the Knowland Park Coalition website at saveknowland.org for up to date reporting on the ongoing efforts to gain permanent protection for this wonderful park. Knowland Park has been referred to as Oakland’s best kept secret, but with your help, we are hopeful that it won’t stay a secret much longer.
On June 17, 2013, EBCNPS submitted comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for FEMA’s East Bay Hills hazardous fire risk reduction project.
The University of California, Berkeley (UCB), City of Oakland, and the EBRPD are all responsible for management of forested public lands in the East Bay. These agencies have submitted grant applications for fire risk reduction projects to FEMA via the California Emergency Management Agency. In order to evaluate these applications, FEMA has prepared a draft EIS. This draft EIS evaluates the potential environmental effects that could occur if these projects that are intended to reduce wildfire hazard and risk are implemented. For more information about this project, please visit FEMA’s project website: http://ebheis.cdmims.com/Home.aspx .
EBCNPS published a public response for this planning process several weeks ago on this blog. It can be viewed here: http://ebcnps.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/public-response-from-ebcnps-regarding-fema-fuels-management-eis/
EBCNPS’s DEIS comment letter can be viewed here: 2013 EBCNPS Comment for FEMA DEIS
We are looking forward to following this process and its accompanying projects in the hopes that the final plan will help keep residents of the Oakland Hills safe and increase native habitat values in our public lands.