$2 million grant could help buy nearly 1,000 acres | SierraSun.com

$2 million grant could help buy nearly 1,000 acres

Courtesy of Truckee Donner Land TrustTruckee River Watershed Council, Tahoe National Forest, and the Sierraville Ranger District will host a tour of the proposed restoration projects in Perazzo Meadows on Thursday. Perazzo Meadows, nearly 1,000 acres of land, includes two miles of the Little Truckee River.

A $2 million state grant awarded to Truckee River Watershed Council provides a much-needed boost toward the conservation of Perazzo Meadows, which includes nearly 1,000 acres of land northwest of Truckee.

The Truckee Donner Land Trust, the U.S. Forest Service and the Truckee River Watershed Council have partnered to host a tour Thursday of the proposed conservation area and restoration projects in Perazzo Meadows.

Perazzo Meadows, located off Highway 89 northwest of Jackson Meadows Road, has more than two miles of the Little Truckee River flowing through the property, said Perry Norris, Truckee Donner Land Trust executive director.

The 982-acre site has been on the land trust’s radar for more than a decade, he said.

But the land trust doesn’t have ownership of Perazzo Meadows ” yet.

About $1.5 million of the state grant funding will be allocated for the acquisition of the property, and the remaining $500,000 will fund the watershed council’s restoration projects, said Lisa Wallace, Truckee River Watershed Council executive director.

Perazzo Meadows is comprised of a series of private parcels. The Perazzo property makes up “an important strategic piece of the Sierra checkerboard,” Norris said.

“It’s one of the largest intact meadow systems in the whole Sierra Nevada,” Wallace said.

The price of Perazzo Meadows is not yet known, however, Norris said he doesn’t “think lining up the funding will be terribly difficult.”

Obtaining the grant money was a very competitive process, Wallace said, which shows how important the land is. Funding for Perazzo Meadows came from Proposition 40, 2002’s California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act. Wallace said she expects at least another $500,000 in matched funding from the Tahoe National Forest, land trust and the watershed council to contribute to the acquisition and restoration of the property.

On Thursday, representatives of these groups will tour two likely restoration sites along the Little Truckee River where the watershed has endured a significant amount of sediment pollution, Wallace said. She said the goal is also to improve habitat for the bird, fish, reptile, and insect populations impacted by the river erosion.

Restoration work in Perazzo Meadows should begin by summer 2008, she said.

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