Truckee Donner Land Trust closes in on Canyon Springs purchase
For more than three decades environmental advocacy group Mountain Area Preservation has fought development of the Canyon Springs area.
That fight is now nearing its end following an announcement the owner of the 290 acres of open space on the eastern edge of Truckee has agreed to sell the property to the Truckee Donner Land Trust.
“We’re now at this point where we get to permanently protect this landscape, and then open it for public access, improve trails, improve habitat, do restoration and fuels management,” said Mountain Area Preservation Executive Director Alexis Ollar. “It’s a really victorious moment for Truckee to show that people can make a difference by using their voice and advocacy. Yes, after three decades, but here we are … I hope the community can see that positive nature of land-use advocacy and how it does pay off over time.”
Ollar said Mountain Area Preservation has been challenging development at the site since 1987. During that time there have been four major development proposals, which potentially could have led to more than 200 units being built at the site.
Additionally, Ollar said the purchase of the property marks a significant step in Mountain Area Preservation’s goal of creating preserved, open space along the eastern side of Truckee and into the Tahoe Basin.
“People might think 290 acres, that’s not that much, but it’s the puzzle piece. This is the edge of Truckee that then leads to the Martis Valley,” said Ollar. “And then that would then connect to the Mt. Rose Wilderness and the Tahoe Basin.”
In order to complete the purchase of Canyon Springs, the Truckee Donner Land Trust has teamed up Mountain Area Preservation, and Saving Open Spaces Glenshire.
Last week, the groups announced they would need to raise $11.6 million in order to buy the property, and that $9.9 million had already been raised through a $6 million grant from the Martis Fund and conservation funds from the Land Trust and Mountain Area Preservation. Additionally, more than $40,000 has been raised through individual online donations, according to Truckee Donner Land Trust Communications Director Greyson Howard.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for folks that care about this property,” said Howard. “When opportunity strikes to permanently protect a property and open to the public, you’ve gotta go for it.”
Howard said the Land Trust is still in the early phases of planning for the site, but stated that plans could entail, “two trail heads and a series or network of trails within the property.”
Per the agreement to sell with the current owner, Howard said the Land Trust has until Dec. 15 to raise the funds.
In order to donate toward the purchase and preservation of Canyon Springs, visit http://www.truckeedonnerlandtrust.org/canyon-springs.
Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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