East Bay wilderness to be preserved as state park under $33-M deal

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California Governor Gavin Newsom and the state legislature settled a $33.2 million agreement last week to preserve the 3, 100-acre East Bay wilderness as a new state park.

Scientists said the thousands of acres of Tesla land located in the southeastern side of Alameda County is a one-of-a-kind habitat as it is home to many threatened and endangered species. East Bay state Sen. Steve Glazer and Assembly member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan said the parcel is considered a historically sensitive place for Native Americans.

The parcel’s name was derived from the coal mine in the area, Tesla, from the 19th century. It is located off of Tesla Road in Livermore.

This week, Newsom will be signing the deal, stopping the expansion plans of the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area.

With the preservation, Glazer said that the land will not accommodate motorized recreation anymore. In addition, the state will compensate the vehicle fund outside the highway to pay for the land’s price.

“Our community and region gets to preserve this natural and cultural treasure while the off-road enthusiasts will keep their current park and receive funding to develop another park on land that’s more suitable to that kind of recreation,” Glazer said.

For more than a century, the Tesla land has enticed naturalists, zoologists, ecologists, among other scientists because of its scrub sage, savannah prairie, Blue Oak woodland, as well as riparian woodlands.

The agreement will finally address the long-standing doubt on the area’s future, SFGate reported.

“We are incredibly thankful that the governor has seen Tesla Park’s value and included it in the ongoing protection of critical natural resources,” Bauer-Kahan said. “It has been my great honor to fight alongside Senator Glazer, the Sierra Club, Friends of Tesla Park and countless organizations and individuals to ensure this land will be protected and enjoyed by all of California’s citizens.”