Preserving a piece of Sierra history: Euer Valley purchase to protect watershed | SierraSun.com

Preserving a piece of Sierra history: Euer Valley purchase to protect watershed

Sun staff report

Photos by Amy EdgettMembers of the Tahoe Donner Association Board of Directors cut the ribbon in celebration of Tahoe Donner's recent purchase of Euer Valley property. From left: Ron Wulff, Tom Johns, Suzan Knisley, Steve Miller and Jay Lempinen. Find a photo gallery at sierrasun.com/photos

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Tahoe Donner has completed its purchase of a 482-acre parcel of land known as the Euer Valley, adjacent to the association’s cross country and equestrian centers.

The valley’s recent history began in 1868, when a Swiss immigrant named Sophary (and#8220;Samand#8221;) Euer began to acquire the property for grazing his dairy cattle. Eventually, the family changed its focus to beef cattle, with some prized steer being sold for as much as $10,000 each. Remains of the historic ranch buildings can still be seen today and cattle still graze there in the summer. As part of the purchase agreement, grazing will be phased out over the next few years.

John and Robert Euer, fourth-generation landowners, were present at a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday at the Tahoe Donner Cross County Ski Center.

and#8220;It was a difficult decision,and#8221; said John. and#8220;Times do change, and we’re getting older and slowing down a bit. The property was getting harder to maintain.and#8221;

The Euers decided to sell to Tahoe Donner because the association has the and#8220;size and abilityand#8221; to do the job responsibly.

and#8220;Both Truckee and Tahoe Donner will benefit from the preservation,and#8221; said Tahoe Donner Board Vice President Tom Johns. and#8220;It’s a beautiful area and#8212; had we not gotten involved it could have been purchased and developed into 1,000 home sites.and#8221;

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Suzy Knisley, president of the board of directors, said Tahoe Donner has discussed the land with John Euer for many years.

and#8220;We are thrilled to have this major piece of property adjacent to Tahoe Donner available permanently to many generations of our homeowners for recreational enjoyment throughout the entire year,and#8221; she said. and#8220;The board greatly appreciates the efforts of our general manager, Robb Etnyre, in seeing this purchase to completion.and#8221;

and#8220;What a great day!and#8221; enthused Etnyre at the opening the celebration, of the Euer Valley purchase, the sunshine, the snow and the crowd. Etnyre, who worked closely with the Euer family, thanked the attendees, the TD Board of Directors and introduced Lisa Wallace of the Truckee River Watershed Council.

Wallace spoke of the importance of preserving Euer Valley, not only for winter and summer recreation, but also to protect the meadow and riparian habitat, fish, mammals and Prosser Creek. This preservation in turn helps protect the Truckee River Watershed.

Staff and the board of directors for the nonprofit organization are currently drafting use and access rules for the land, which will outline activities for the valley and who may access the property.