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New State Park Created In The East Bay

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Thousands of acres of East Bay wilderness will be preserved as a new state park under a $33.2 million agreement reached last week between Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state legislature.

The 3,100-acre Tesla parcel, near Livermore, has several threatened and endangered species, as well as historical points of interest. It includes the gold rush era Tesla coal mine, and petroglyphs and bedrock mortars made by the Ohlone and Yokuts tribes.

Environmentalists have fought to preserve the land since the state’s Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission bought it in the 1990s.

In an agreement reached last week, the land will become a state park closed to motorized recreation. The state will reimburse the Off-Highway Vehicle fund for the purchase price of the land, its appreciation in value, and the money spent planning.

The funds will go toward the purchase and development of an off-road park at another location.

The Tesla land features Blue Oak woodland, mountain savannah grassland, scrub sage, and riparian woodlands. The area has drawn naturalists, ecologists, zoologists, and other scientists for more than 100 years to study nature and natural systems.

Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the agreement next week.