Tahoe National Forest acquires large land tract outside Truckee

Matthew Renda

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Tahoe National Forest recently acquired about 1,300 acres of land north of Interstate 80 near Donner Summit. The acquisition involves three non-contiguous parcels in proximity to White Rock Lake in the upper-elevation areas of Tahoe National Forest.

The $1.3 million purchase was consummated with an eye toward enhancing recreation opportunities in the Tahoe National Forest, said Joanne Roubique, Truckee district ranger.

The land was formerly owned by Sierra Pacific Industries — a timber company based in Anderson, near Redding, which has a Grass Valley office and is a major landowner in the Sierra foothills. The recently acquired lands include parcels near Castle Peak, White Lake and Lola Montez Lakes and were noted for their recreational and wildlife habitat values.

“We are quite excited about this purchase,” Robuique said. “The property will provide opportunities for more sustainable trails, increased access to beautiful lakes and consolidation of National Forest lands.”

The land purchase will make a popular mountain biking trail more accessible and add more hiking and equestrian trails, said Ann Westling, spokesperson for Tahoe National Forest.

“This is a very popular recreation area, and (the purchase) will only add to that component,” Westling said.

While there are some pine and fir trees on the three parcels, the upper elevation location means that many of the specimens are scraggly and unfit for timber production.

The purchase price was provided by Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is appropriated by U.S. Congress from oil companies in exchange for the right to drill for off-shore oil.

The purchase was finalized March 12, according to a news release last Thursday.

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