Land purchases finalized for Schallenberger Ridge | SierraSun.com

Land purchases finalized for Schallenberger Ridge

Erich Sommer, Sierra Sun

The Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land announced last week the joint purchase of 1,173 acres on Schallenberger Ridge, a ridgeline that forms the backdrop to Donner Lake and the latest in a series of acquisitions by the trusts.

The purchase, from Croman Timber Corp., an Oregon logging company, was valued at approximately $3 million and will protect the historic ridge from logging and development.

It represents the second in a series of acquisitions by the trusts from willing sellers. In April, the Trust for Public Land and Truckee Donner Land Trust purchased 750 acres in the same area.

The trusts hope to transfer those parcels, plus acreage on the eastern end of the ridge and in Emigrant Canyon, to Donner Memorial State Park.

In an effort to pool resources, the two nonprofit agencies partnered to buy the land, said Jeff Cutler, director of land conservation for Truckee Donner Land Trust.

“We may partner on other projects,” he added.

Last week’s purchase, made possible by a financing package that includes a low interest loan from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and a proposal for Donner Memorial State Park to purchase some of the land, still resulted in a $1 million funding gap.

“This is an incredible opportunity for us all to rally together and preserve a part of what makes Truckee so special,” said Perry Norris, executive director of Truckee Donner Land Trust.

“We need to raise a million dollars in the coming months but the good news is that it’s for a cause that anyone who cares for the area seems eager to support.”

If and when the land is transferred to the state park system, public lands will be extended from Truckee to Donner Summit.

In a prepared statement, both trusts said they hoped the transfer would be complete by next year.

“Schallenberger Ridge, as much as any landmark, defines Truckee’s mountain character,” said Mayor Don McCormack. “It is exciting for the town of Truckee to see this critical acquisition happen.”