Truckee Donner Land Trust awarded more than $750,000 for forest health work | SierraSun.com

Truckee Donner Land Trust awarded more than $750,000 for forest health work

Submitted to the Sierra Sun
One of two grants received by the Truckee Donner Land Trust will result in $419,250 for forestry work at Webber Lake.
Submitted photo by John Peltier

LAND TRUST WELCOMES DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, BOARD MEMBER

The Truckee Donner Land Trust is excited to announce Kate Frankfurt as its new development director, and Sidney Scott as a new board member.

“We are thrilled to have Kate joining us to steward the financial health of our organization and to fundraise for the numerous campaigns falling into place in 2019,” Perry Norris, executive director of the Land Trust, said in a news release.

Frankfurt joins the Land Trust as the organization joins forces with Squaw Valley Public Service District on the acquisition of Olympic Meadow, a 30-acre property in the heart of Olympic Valley.

“I am deeply honored to join the Truckee Donner Land Trust at this pivotal moment,” Frankfurt said. “My family was drawn to the Sierra for the same reason many people are – this land has a way of getting into your soul.”

Scott joins the board of directors in 2019 bringing a diverse background in the sciences and with a personal passion for the region. Scott, her husband and two kids have lived in the Truckee area since 2004, and on Donner Summit since 2012, climbing and skiing the lands preserved by the Land Trust.

Frankfurt steps in for former Development Director Kathy Englar, who the release states has been vital to the success of the Land Trust over the last few years, and to landmark acquisitions like Lower Carpenter Valley. Also retiring from the board of directors are Anne Chadwick, Tom Van Berkem and Jim Hoelter, all of whom played vital roles in the growth and strength of the Land Trust.

“We would like to thank Kathy for all her incredible work – she set a high bar for the organization and we are eternally grateful,” Norris said. “And Anne, Jim and Tom will also be missed – they brought so much to our organization, we cannot thank them enough.”

The Land Trust has protected more than 36,000 acres of open space in the Truckee-Donner region, preserving their natural resources for future generations and opening them to the public for recreation. Much of this work is funded by private fundraising – the generous contributions of donors who value the unique landscapes of the Northern Sierra.

The Truckee Donner Land Trust preserves and protects scenic, historic and recreational lands with high natural resource values in the greater Truckee Donner region and manages recreational activities on these lands in a sustainable manner. Learn more at www.tdlandtrust.org

As wildfires become a greater and greater concern with each passing year, the Truckee Donner Land Trust has been awarded $783,760 in funding for critical forestry work on its properties, a news release states..

Two grants — one totaling $364,510 for forestry work at Royal Gorge on Donner Summit, and another for $419,250 for work at Webber Lake — will allow the Land Trust to undertake significant forest health projects that will not only improve the local ecology on its protected lands, but also improve resiliency and help reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

“We’re extremely grateful that the Sierra Nevada Conservancy chose to fund our projects,” Brita Tryggvi, chair of the Land Trust Stewardship Committee, said in the release. “We take the stewardship of our lands seriously, and work hard to maintain forest health so that these beautiful places stay pristine for generations to come.”

The forestry project at Royal Gorge would thin the forest primarily around Serene Lakes. Serene Lakes has roughly 600 lots, making this project important for wildland-urban interface wildfire management, the release states. Historic fire suppression has led to overstocking of trees and declining forest health. This project will thin nearly 200 acres. Beyond wildfire risk management, the project will also benefit the North Fork of the American and South Yuba River, as the headwaters of each originate in the Royal Gorge area.

The second project will thin 185 acres of forest surrounding Webber Lake and Coppins Meadow, eliminating encroaching lodgepole pines in the meadow, and thinning overly dense, wildfire-prone thickets in the area. With the Webber Lake Campground open to the public, fire mitigation is key, the release states, and reducing pine encroachment on the meadow will improve meadow habitat and function for water quality and storage.

Both projects will take place from 2019 to 2021. This work builds on numerous other forest health projects completed across Land Trust properties in the past. These grants are among a total of $26 million awarded by Sierra Nevada Conservancy across the Sierra for wildfire, forest health and watershed restoration.

“Building resilience in the Sierra Nevada is our primary focus, and the funding authorized by our board demonstrates the SNC’s commitment to increasing the pace and scale of restoration across the region,” said Angela Avery, executive officer for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. “We’re proud to be supporting these projects and the partners who will be implementing them on the ground.”

Source: Truckee Donner Land Trust