Join the Sugar Pine Foundation for spring plantings |

Join the Sugar Pine Foundation for spring plantings

Special to the Sun
A Tahoe Expedition Academy kindergartner holds a bag of sugar pine seedlings.
Courtesy photo |

Sugar Pine Foundation will host two plantings as part of Earth Week. Plant sugar pine seedlings and help restore native forest at Waddle Ranch. These plantings are sponsored by the Truckee Tahoe Airport, which currently manages the property.

Lying at the heart of Martis Valley, Waddle Ranch is an ecologically diverse property.

In 2003, the valley was in danger of being for new housing construction . The Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Trust for Public Lands, with support from the Northern Sierra Partnership, managed to acquire Waddle Ranch in 2007. The Truckee Tahoe Airport District (TTAD) currently manages the property and continues to protect this ecological jewel for future generations.

Over the past five years the TTAD has been hard at work improving forest health and enhancing recreational activities on the ranch property.

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“Eighty acres of restoration work was completed last fall alone, and an additional 100 acres of fuel reduction are being approved near Dry Lake,” said Hardy Bullock, Director of Aviation and Community Services. Hardy’s main goal for the future is to connect all of the treatment units and assist other agencies in connecting managed lands toward Glenshire.

The Waddle property is the biggest firebreak between Highway 267 and Glenshire. It is a valued wildlife migration corridor as well.

“We have been working with the Truckee River Watershed Council to fund water testing wells and assist in wetland mitigation,” said Hardy.

This summer, the lower road will be rebuilt for reduced erosion and increased fire response ability, but for now a high clearance vehicle is needed to drive on it.

Planting sugar pines is one part of the restoration work in the mission to restore the ranch to pre-Comstock era forestland.

Last year, the Sugar Pine Foundation planted 1,000 sugar pine seedlings with Truckee River Day volunteers and Tahoe Expedition Academy students.

“This spring, we will be planting another 1,000 seedlings on 20 acres with the help of community volunteers,” said Sugar Pine Foundation Executive Director Maria Mircheva.

The forest density has already been restored by the recent thinning. Planting sugar pines will restore forest composition in areas disturbed by logging and fire suppression.

Sugar pines currently grow in the higher and rockier areas of the property where it was difficult to log them.

All members of the public are welcome to join the Waddle Ranch plantings. Shovels and gloves will be provided but you can always bring your own. This is a beautiful area but access is tough. Carpooling is recommended and high clearance vehicles are necessary.


Wednesday April 23, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Meet at the Waddle Ranch gate off Highway 267 with 20 Patagonia and Resort at Squaw Creek employees to drive to the planting site near Dry Lake.

Sunday April 27, 12:30-3.30 p.m. Meet at the lower parking lot at Northstar with 25 Truckee Rotarians to carpool to the planting site.

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