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Trail system eyed; Town of Truckee gets grant from park service

JOHN A. BAYLESS Sierra Sun

With assistance from the National Park Service, the Town of Truckee will soon enter into a planning process to determine where a system of hiking trails and bike paths should be located within the town.

Although many parts of Truckee, such as Tahoe Donner, have existing trail systems for hiking and biking, no comprehensive system linking different parts of town currently exists. The Town of Truckee recently received a grant in the form of 200 hours of consulting time from a National Park Service expert, and plans to organize an advisory committee to consider the possible layout of a trail system in the town.

The National Park Service assigned Barbara Rice of the Rivers, Trails, Conservation and Assistance Program to help the town in its planning.

“We’ve had a couple of meetings with her,” Assistant Planner Gavin Ball said. “She’ll be involved every step of the way throughout the process. The grant is funded for 200 hours of work with her, but there is an opportunity to apply for additional fund -ing.”

The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program was established by the National Park Service to support community-based conservation action. RTCA members assist communities working to protect resources, and to enhance opportunities for close-to-home recreation.

Rice worked along with town staff, Doug Mullins of the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District, Dan Wendin of the Truckee-Donner Land Trust, Fran Herbst of the U.S. Forest Service and residents Barbara Green, Lisa Cutter, Paco Lindsey and Kathleen Eagan on a steering committee to consider the composition of the citizens’ advisory committee.

Ball said the next step in the process is the formation of the advisory committee, intended to represent the many trails planning and use interests in the community. Rice will work as a facilitator and as an expert adviser to the committee.

Committee membership is expected to consist of a town council member, a planning commission member, Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District, United States Forest Service, California State Parks (Sierra District), alternative transportation interest, bicycling interest, Our Truckee River Legacy, hiking interest, equestrian interest, Truckee-Donner Land Trust, three to five at-large committee members, and one representative from each of the local homeowners’ associations.

“The application for the committee will be devised shortly, and there will be a notice in the paper, as well as mailings sent to those who have expressed an interest in the project,” Ball said. The term of the committee will run through the council adoption date of the Truckee Bikeways and Trails Master Plan, which is estimated to be a year long process.

“This is the first formal organization of a trails planning group for the town,” Ball said. He said any interested individuals are invited to call him at the Town of Truckee, at 582-7700.

At the town council meeting April 16, the council determined the scope of the committee’s considerations, and directed staff to focus the town’s trails planning effort within the boundaries of the town.

The town’s 5-year capital improvement program has allocated $15,000 for professional planning and design services associated with the preparation of the Truckee Bikeways and Trails Master Plan for Fiscal Years 1997-98 and 1998-99. It also sets aside $100,000 for each fiscal year through 2000-01 for planning and design services, as well as construction of five to six miles of the Truckee River Trail.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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