Ruling keeps Carnegie open, but watchdogs press on
by Cassie Tomlin
Mar 18, 2010 | 3290 views | 26 26 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An off-road biker climbs along a section of Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area on Tuesday morning. The park remains open, though it could be closed to vehicles if conditions of a lawsuit are not met.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
An off-road biker climbs along a section of Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area on Tuesday morning. The park remains open, though it could be closed to vehicles if conditions of a lawsuit are not met. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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A state motorcycle park will stay open while it measures pollution into the muddy Corral Hollow Creek, an appellate judge ruled Tuesday in a move lauded by off-road enthusiasts and shrugged off by lawyers seeking to close the trails.

Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area had been under threat of shutting down after a legal battle with environmental groups, whose lawyer said the park has a lot of work to do to comply with water laws.

Carnegie spans 1,500 acres of hills and canyons southwest of Tracy, and sits on the seasonal creek, which flows during heavy rain into farm fields in the valley.

The state said the park is working on a plan to keep riders out of the creek to control sediment and erosion. The Central Valley Regional Water Board in January asked the park for more information in its incomplete pollution report, which acknowledged high levels of copper, aluminum and other metals in the stream.

Last year, environmental groups sued the park for muddying the creek with sediment and metal, and for doing it without telling the water board. An Alameda County judge ruled the park shut down, but it never did — a court order delayed the closing in December, after hundreds rallied to keep park open.

The San Francisco judge overturned the decision, stating the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility should’ve contacted state and regional water boards before bringing the matter to court.

Michael Lozeau, an attorney for the sport fishing group, said he didn’t consult the state water board since it’s the agency’s duty to get permitted. But he said he wasn’t surprised the “chronically understaffed” water board hadn’t sought one.

“They would probably have in their heads the assumption their sister agency might be complying with the law,” he said.

State parks district superintendant Bob Williamson said Carnegie had never before sought a permit to let motorcycles ride through the creek because the state had never asked.

Dave Clegern, spokesman for state water board, said the regional board relies on complaints to do inspections in a region that spans from Yuba City to San Jose.

The Clean Water Act and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act require that companies and agencies report the affect of their actions on groundwater.

One off-road vehicle activist, Bruce Brazil, said he’s ridden at Carnegie since the 1970s, when it was still private property.

He said the fuel left by motorcycles and the mud that runs into the creek bed should be of little concern because it mostly runs dry, and he blamed the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility for waging all sort of attacks on trails across the state.

“They came in there looking for something to shut it down,” he said.

Lozeau said he’s not finished with the case, despite what he called the “procedural hurdle” of the overturned closure.

He said state officials should put in the effort to get things right by closing trails when it rains and “vigilantly” keeping riders out of the creek.

“The rangers just stand by watching people driving into the creek,” he said. “Every time it rains, the creek flows into the park clear and comes out of it looking like coffee. Obviously what’s happening is clearly a violation of the water law.”

Contact Tracy Press reporter Cassie Tomlin at 830-4225 or ctomlin@tracypress.com.
Comments
(26)
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RedHotChilliPeppers
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March 25, 2010
I talked to the guys from Carnegie Park at the Bean Fest. They were very respectable and explained a lot. I don't see the folks with all the lawsuits there offering ANY explanation.

Why doesn't TRAK pay for a booth at the Tracy Bean Fest and offer the taxpeyers an apology?
ConcernedNeighbor
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March 22, 2010
Didn't realize this is almost thirty year dispute! Back to 1981?

Didn't realize the ranch was in the disputing family for over 140 years!

Very interesting read, will read the rest later.

CN

ProBozo
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March 21, 2010
Sure hope this park-hate isn't contagious?

Welfare_Bound
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March 21, 2010
Has anyone seen this "Connolly Ranch Analysis"?

http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/21299/files/272.pdf

On page 21, it says, 'we obtained the copy from Senator John Garamendi, who has been the only source of information on the department's activities.'

On page 23, it talks about a 'property owner unwillingness to sell'.

???

See page 19 thru 46.

Let us know.

JoPlummer
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March 21, 2010
Lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit?

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/5504815/article-Your-Voice--Not-another-lawsuit-

1219tracy
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March 21, 2010
I think the Carnegie people need to get a great lawyer. Also a lot of publicity wouldn't hurt. Get tv stations involved, make a big deal out of. Get the public outraged. A great lawyer may be able to dig into what really is going on and expose them for who they really are and their real intentions.
FriendOfTelsa
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March 21, 2010
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Carnegie-Expansion/395518900127
ProBozo
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March 21, 2010
To find out more about the opposition group read the article on page 1 and 4.

http://www.livermorehistory.com/Archive - Newspapers - Independent/IND 2008-01-03.pdf

PottersVille
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March 20, 2010
http://www.southbayriders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52069
PottersVille
|
March 20, 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eavaUaopVr8
PottersVille
|
March 20, 2010
Anybody see this and know what it means?

Connolly Ranch, CA.

TULE ELK

The tule elk hunting has been challenging, due mainly to the drought conditions the last two seasons. While two trophy bull hunters harvested nice bulls, the third sportsman elected not to shoot an elk and has been invited back in 2009 at a highly reduced rate. We are in the process of working to acquire additional elk tags on the ranch directly adjacent to the Connolly Ranch, which would help our hunting program.

We are also talking with several other ranchers about putting their properties into the Private Land Management Program. This would provide even m ore tule elk hunting on private property for our clients. Writing and implementing wildlife management plans for private landowners is all part of MUM's professional services.

2009 Hunt Prices

1x1 4 day Tule Elk Hunt $10,500

http://www.mumwildlife.com/mum/site/hunting_programs/connolly_ranch.php

AnaWanda
|
March 20, 2010
Why did it go to court in the Santa Clara. This can't be in Jerry's congressional district. Who is the congressman over there at Carnegie Park. Does anyone know?
sdsailer
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March 20, 2010
Sunny, I thought the same thing, talk about calling the kettle black. Last Sunday I saw 5 or 6 ATV’s on trailer's leaving Connelly’s gated road next to the MX track. Wonder if they were "denuding" the countryside as they claim we are doing.
Sunnycaday
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March 20, 2010
Maybe the Connely's are polluting the water?

Did you know they drive across the same creek everyday when they enter their property? Did it ever occur to them that they may be contributing to the problem?

Keep Carnegie open for all and let the kids have a turn to do a fun family sport!
cody01
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March 20, 2010
Connely owns a bunch of land.

Yeah, where is the EPA on this issue?

Good point. I would bet money they were contacted.

OK, we can see which way the trashy press is leaning.
RedHotChilliPeppers
|
March 19, 2010
Tracy Press,

Which Congressional District is that?

You never said.

Hush, hush?

RedHotChilliPeppers
|
March 19, 2010
Tracy Press,

Also want to know if this means their lawsuit against the Swim Center will be tossed too?
RedHotChilliPeppers
|
March 19, 2010
Tracy Press,

Will you continue your support of those candidate for city office, even after all these frivolous lawsuits against our parks?
FlyLikeABandit
|
March 19, 2010
I guess no one that lives on a dirt road can drive their cars on the road then. Mud falls off the cars after being touched by lead and oils and such. Then when going over a bridge the mud falls off and ends up in a creek. That's it, no more driving on dirt roads with any type of vechicle, back to the stone age.
ironbritches
|
March 19, 2010
Hey JoPlummer...you can thank Mark Connolly for the lawsuits.


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