Tesla’s extraordinary cultural and natural resources can be preserved forever with a “Reserve” classification
One of Tesla’s many extraordinary features is that it holds important archeological features and sacred sites of the Indigenous peoples who depended on this land.
In the words of Katherine Perez, a tribal leader for the Northern Valley Yokuts, Ohlone, and Bay Mewuk and President of Nototomne Cultural Preservation, who has long advocated for Tesla preservation:
“The vistas, native plants, wildlife and solitude of the surrounding land are central to the power of Tesla’s Native American cultural sites. Because the natural and cultural resources extend throughout the 3,100 acres of the parkland and because the natural resource landscape is an integral part of the cultural landscape, Classifying the Tesla parkland as a Reserve is the only way to ensure its cultural resources and natural resources are properly protected in perpetuity.”Katherine Perez, President, Nototomne Cultural Preservation; Northern Valley Yokuts, Ohlone and Bay Mewuk Tribal Chair
Hismet Warep Horsetka, which means “Sacred Earth in Harmony” in the Chochenyo language of the East Bay Ohlone people, describes what Tesla means to Native American representatives.
Reserve classification preserves forever Tesla’s extraordinary cultural and natural resources and provides the opportunity for restorative justice and equity for Native Americans.
Access for all are perfect words for our vision of Tesla as a Reserve
Tesla can offer varied experiences that will appeal to hikers, walkers, birders, nature lovers, biologists, history buffs, Native Americans, children, researchers and people of all walks of life.
People are allowed and encouraged to visit reserves. There is public access for day use within reserves with the focus on preservation, enjoyment and education.
A Tesla Reserve can include hiking, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, nature appreciation, self-guided interpretive trails, guided tours, trail signs and educational exhibits and picnicking. A Tesla Reserve can support education and research for K-12 schools, college students and scientists. A Tesla Reserve can also serve the Native American community for traditional and ceremonial purposes.
To fully protect sensitive resources, development of facilities, resource manipulation and more active/intrusive recreation activities are not generally allowed in a reserve. However, State Parks has other adjacent park property along the eastern portion of Tesla Road that is already impacted, including Carnegie SVRA, where more impactful facilities and intensive recreation activities can be located, thereby fully protecting Tesla as a Reserve.
It will be the only Reserve in the region, a unique experience for all
A Tesla Reserve would be the only Reserve in the State Parks Diablo Range District, providing access for all to a biologically and culturally rich native landscape that is emblematic of this region of California. A Tesla Reserve can:
- Provide the highest level of protection for rare and important cultural and natural resources
- Offer hiking, interpretive trails and tours, scenic routes, wildlife viewing, photography, K-12 education and university research.
- Embrace the values of Indigenous cultures’ connection to the land and principles of environmental stewardship.
- Support State and Federal policy objectives around 30×30, Biodiversity Protection, Climate Change Resiliency, Landscape Level Conservation Planning, Target Species Protection, and Native American Justice and Equity
Our vision for Tesla is for State Parks to first classify Tesla as a Reserve and name it “Hismet Warep Horsetka” so that it can remain “Sacred Earth in Harmony”, and then establish the Tesla Historic District along Tesla Road to share the area’s rich history.
Classifying Tesla as a Reserve is a rare opportunity to fully protect a large sensitive and diverse intact ecosystem in the Diablo Range. We cannot let this rare opportunity to fully protect this rare native landscape pass by.