Land trust acquires more land on Donner Summit | SierraSun.com

Land trust acquires more land on Donner Summit

Sierra Sun staff reports
Courtesy image
ALL |

The public has nearly 60 additional acres to explore on Donner Summit thanks to the efforts of the Truckee Donner Land Trust, an anonymous donor and real estate transfer fees.

The acquisition of 58 acres in Billy Mack and Negro canyons adds to the land trust’s holdings on the Summit. According to Perry Norris, executive director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust, the recent purchase includes two parcels split by Interstate 80 and was funded by an anonymous donor and proceeds from the real estate transfer fees generated from the Gray’s Crossing and Old Greenwood developments.

Norris said the northern parcel links to 750 acres that the land trust is working to acquire in Negro Canyon, 280 acres of which is currently under contract. The southern parcel is sandwiched between U.S. Forest Service land and 240 acres acquired through purchase and conservation easement by the land trust in 2005.

“These acquisitions will create important and contiguous links and corridors for habitat, access to recreational lands heretofore closed to the public and help maintain a clean and healthy Donner Lake,” Norris said in a statement.

The acquisition and easement are parts of a larger, multi-million dollar campaign for open space and trails in the Truckee area that the land trust is pursuing, Norris said.

By brokering transfer fee agreements with developers in the area, the land trust and other conservation groups can purchase land for wildlife habitat, recreation and open space and pay for it over time.

“Trying to project the amount of [transfer fee] income we’re going to receive is difficult, so we try to be conservative,” Norris said.

He compared the financing of land purchases with transfer fees to a mortgage.

“It’s a pretty unique in the land trust world,” he said.