Sunset Magazine names Truckee Donner Land Trust in 2012 Environmental Awards | SierraSun.com

Sunset Magazine names Truckee Donner Land Trust in 2012 Environmental Awards

Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Sunset Magazine has named the Truckee Donner Land Trust as one of their winners of Sunset’s 2012 Environmental Awards. Independence Lake won in the category of best lake or lakeshore preservation. As an award winner, the Land Trust joins the ranks of the most creative and effective environmental organizations in the West.

William Thauvette, president of the Land Trust, said, and#8220;Independence Lake was on and off the market for 50 years before it was purchased from NV Energy by The Nature Conservancy and the Land Trust. To receive this award really illustrates how important our work is in the northern Sierra.and#8221;

Independence Lake, considered to be one of the finest pristine sub-alpine lakes in the West, supports Californiaand#8217;s last wild and self-sustaining lake populations of threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout. It is amazing Independence Lake and its fisheries were not lost to development. In the 1970s, Disney Corporation planned on building a mega-modern ski resort and complex on the ridges and bowls encircling the lake. Disney had plans for a four-lane highway from the current turn-off to Sagehen Field Station on Highway 89. Mt. Lola, Carpenter Peak and other peaks were to be connected via gondolas and chair lifts. Independence Lake itself would be ringed with marinas, piers and docks leading to vacation homes and estates. Plans included a golf course, equestrian center, hotel, condos, hundreds of miles of roads, parking for 2,500 vehicles, and hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial development to accommodate visitors to the new resort. The lake was again threatened by development in 2002 when the property was nearly sold to a Silicon Valley icon.

Today, visitors may enjoy the lakeand#8217;s day use facilities, which include, picnicking, swimming, mountain biking, hiking, wildlife viewing and fishing. A fleet of boats and kayaks offered by the Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy are available for free to visitors.

The 2012 Environmental Awards are featured in the March 2012 issue of Sunset magazine.

The Truckee Donner Land Trust preserves and protects scenic, historic and recreational lands with high natural resource values in the greater Truckee Donner region. Learn more at http://www.tdlandtrust.org.

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and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com