The Ramblings of 4WheelBob
America's premier wheelchair hiker speaks.
A Diablo Range Trail Update

Awhile back, I proposed the idea of a through - trail from Mt. Diablo onto Regional Park lands and through the cooperation of local and state authorities as well as private landowners to Del Puerto Canyon.

I've written to officials in the East Bay Regional Park District, who are quite receptive, as well as State Parks officials - who are not. It seems the State Park property I consider perfect for a backpacker's campground, at the west end of Carnegie SRVA (State Vehicular Recreation Area), has been earmarked for other purposes. Wait until you hear about this...

Carnegie is a now - ripped up and generally denuded site where off - road vehicle enthusiasts can climb the steep hillsides and oft - muddy trails on their motorcycles or ATV's. It's a place that for years has been a local hotspot for practitioners of motorized sport, to the detriment of several endangered or threatend species and of the landscape itself. The scarring of the hillsides is all but permanent now. Deeply rutted trails have been worn to the core by man - induced erosion. To anyone who believes in the power of a good, natural setting, this place is a wasteland.

The State Park system owns a good chunk of property west of the fume - choked SRVA, a piece of land perfect for a waypoint on a good, long regional trail. Now the State Parks and Recreation bureaucrats want to expand to this piece the motorized traffic that's blighted Carnegie and the Tesla Road corridor. Now, I know and like a lot of people who use Carnegie, who feel they can ride their motorized craft wherever and however they see fit. We have good natured arguments about the merits of their sport, of the fuel wasted, of the damage done to land, critters and birds. I've not been able to convince one of them to accompany me on a hike. It's easier, I guess, to twist a throttle for the cheap thrill of getting muddy and feeling as if they've accomplished something by letting a motorized beast do the work for them.

But now's the time to draw a line in the mud. Allowing more off road motorized madness in the western portion of the park is wrong on many levels. Let me name just a couple:

At least as many hikers use trails as motorcyclists. There is an opportunity to build a long, challenging, revitalizing trail close to home in the Diablo Range, so distance hikers wouldn't have to expend valuable fossil fuels to get to the only current true distance trails in the State. The Diablos are a secretive range, too. Few know of the treasures that may be contained within this rugged range. 

Speaking of fuel, is this the same State that's currently suing the EPA because the Feds rejected the tighter emissions standards now mandated for California as "excessive?" Why, then does this same state encourage the expanded use of off road vehicles, which use fuel excessively and wantonly, wasting it by the truckful just to do doughnuts in the mud? Why, again, do we think this plan for expansion is desirable?

The Diablos of Carnegie's latitude are home to the endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox, Red Legged Frog and other endangered species. Are we to suggest we further diminish their habitat in favor of the destuction of 3,000 acres to the immediate west of the current Area boundaries?

If anyone reads this, take a minute to write an e - mail or letter to your local State Assembly or Senate member. This is an issue I just won't take sitting down. Carnegie as it is today has been conceded - it is scorced earth, a place perhaps beyond rehabilitation. Let's make sure no more damage is wrought via new expansion. Use this property to join in the concept of a Diablo through - trail, State Parks and Rec....and please take note - 4wheelbob is going to be ON you until you drop this plan.  

2008-01-07 02:48:03 GMT
Comments (1 total)
Without even sitting foot on or seeing the place first hand, I argee.
I live a few miles south and heard motorcycles perform hill climbs during the spring and summer for 30 yrs. This slowed when the price of gasoline hit $3 a gallon.
I wouldn't attempt to restore the digger pine as they are being killed by pine tree mistletoe.
We havw had good success with elderica pine (spelling?). They are usually found during christmas time at most nursuries.
2008-07-30 00:34:40 GMT
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