Photo from a 2012 District Public Meeting
OHV enthusiasts often complain about the arrogance of elected and unelected officials that are sent to Washington D.C. to make decisions on our behalf. Sadly, that unbecoming character flaw appears to have been adopted by the East Bay Regional Park District’s staff and elected board members.
As many of you know, the District is updating their Master Plan. A lot of you attended several public meetings held throughout the East Bay Area last fall. Recently, the District issued their updated final Draft Master Plan Update.
Link to Final Draft of Updated Master Plan
At those public “listening meetings,” the OHV community often represented about 1/3rd to ½ of those in attendance. With over 28K registered non-street legal OHVs in the District’s jurisdiction, the Park was not providing one-inch of OHV trail. Historically, motorized recreation was recognized as a viable form of activity that the District should provide for. In fact, they operated a small OHV park in the Oakland hills about 20 years ago.
We also submitted comments and made statements regarding the District’s effort to stop the OHMVR Division’s planning efforts on the Tesla property to site new OHV opportunity on said land purchased for that use with monies from the OHV Trust Fund.
Link to the Tesla Fight
HQ has done an initial review and it appears that all the OHV community accomplished was to further strength the resolve by District leadership to formally BAN any consideration of OHV use on current or future District park lands. In addition, the District continues to insert itself into the OHMVR Division’s planning for future motorized recreational opportunity on the Tesla property.
Link to Carnegie SVRA Planning Process
According the District’s Public Affairs Officer, Carol Johnson, dates for upcoming public meetings will be discussed most likely on May 23 at an executive committee meeting, though the agenda has not been formally posted as yet. The full Board of Directors will consider adoption of the final draft document sometime in June. Johnson urges users to check the District’s website for updates on Board agendas.
The District has proved local agencies and governing boards are more than capable of brash arrogance that rivals anything I have seen in Sacramento or Washington, D.C. Getting poked in the eye hurts regardless of who does it.
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