Schallenberger Ridge incorporated in park
The process has been long and arduous, but it finally paid off – Schallenberger Ridge, the backdrop of Donner Lake, is officially a part of Donner Memorial State Park.
The 1,923-acre addition triples the size of the park, and will allow a connection between Truckee and Emigrant Canyon to the Pacific Crest Trail.
Although acquisition of property along Schallenberger Ridge and Coldstream Canyon by the Trust for Public Land and the Truckee Donner Land Trust has been ongoing since 2000, the ridge has finally been transferred to the California state park system.
“[The sale] took about a year longer than I expected,” said Perry Norris, executive director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust.
The land was previously owned by Croman Timber of Oregon and was acquired by the San Francisco-based Trust for Public Land to protect it from future development and logging.
Valued at $3.1 million, the ridge was purchased from the trust by California State Parks.
“In the rapidly growing Truckee area, the protection of these lands literally at Truckee’s doorstep is a significant step towards protecting what residents and visitors cherish about the area,” Norris said.
“Schallenberger Ridge is so scenic and so integral to Donner Memorial State Park and adjoining U.S. Forest Service properties that most outdoor enthusiast assumed it was already in public ownership,” John Knott, superintendent for the Sierra District of California State Parks, said in a press release.
The historic property includes a portion of the Emigrant Trail, which was used by thousands of California-bound pioneers, and was named after Moses Schallenberger, a member of the first pioneer party to take wagons over the Sierra Nevada.
Schallenberger, who was 18 years old at the time, stayed at Donner Lake to guard wagons left by the main party and survived for three months in a small cabin in the winter of 1844-45 before being rescued.
“The same rugged skyline that greeted the first pioneers to California is now protected forever,” said Mary Nichols, California Secretary for Resources.
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