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California’s Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR) is planning to let intensive off-road vehicle use destroy the upland habitats of Tesla Park’s frogs and salamanders! SAVE THE FROGS! is joining an effort led by Friends of Tesla Park to preserve the historic and natural resources of this parcel.
Please submit your comment asking the California State Parks to prohibit any new off-road vehicle use in Tesla Park, as it would illegally endanger federally protected amphibian species.
In eastern Alameda county where the California’s Coast Range meets the Central Valley, lies the watershed of Corral Hollow Creek. In this watershed where species from two different biomes meet, OHMVR is planning to expand the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area, a moonscape of completely eroded hills. The state acquired a 3,400 acre parcel that used to be a cattle ranch next to the existing Carnegie SVRA. The new parcel, called Tesla Park, is rich in special status amphibians (e.g. California red legged frogs (Rana draytonii), California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense), Foothill yellow legged frogs (Rana boylii), Spadefoot toads (Spea hammondii) and more common species (California newts (Taricha torosa) and Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla)).
After laying their eggs in water in the late winter and early spring, some of these amphibians survive by spending much of their lives away from their breeding ponds and creeks. For example, California Tiger Salamanders have been found more than a mile away from the nearest breeding pond. Trapping studies reveal that most CTS live over half a mile away from water. Yet OHMVR in their resource guidelines asserts that a 75 foot buffer around a pond is protective! To sustain populations of these amphibians, the terrestrial vegetation within approximately 1.2 miles, or a circle with an area of roughly three thousand acres, needs to be protected from OHV destruction around each breeding pond. There are 13 ponds with CTS in Tesla Park so this habitat needs to be protected.
Tell OHMVR to set aside the Alameda-Tesla parcel as a sensitive area and that a non-motorized / low impact recreation option must be included in the EIR Alternatives Analysis.