Tahoe Donner to Purchase and Preserve 640-Acre Crabtree Canyon
With approval from its board of directors, Tahoe Donner Association is working with the Truckee Donner Land Trust and their partners, The Nature Conservancy and The Northern Sierra Partnership, to move forward with the acquisition of a 640-acre parcel of land located in Carpenter Valley and adjacent to Tahoe Donner’s existing 7,000-plus acres and Euer Valley.
The southern-most portion of the property, which includes Crabtree Canyon, is a gateway between Euer Valley and Carpenter Valley and will be owned and managed by Tahoe Donner. This is phase one of a much larger open space effort by Truckee Donner Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and The Northern Sierra Partnership. Further protection will be ensured by a permanent conservation easement held by the Truckee Donner Land Trust. The larger surrounding Carpenter Valley property, which has remained in private hands since the mid-19th century, is expected to be part of a Truckee Donner Land Trust purchase in 2017.
Our association’s vision as a desirable mountain community includes providing attractive and well-maintained facilities and amenities while maintaining accessible and healthy natural surroundings. The acquisition of the Crabtree parcel will also protect Tahoe Donner’s borders from future development.
In addition to preserving, protecting and maintaining Crabtree Canyon, this land parcel will also create new recreational opportunities for Tahoe Donner residents.
“This purchase also expands services to our membership,” Miller said. “It will allow Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Area to reopen 16 percent of our Nordic ski terrain that had previously closed due to land use concerns,” Miller explained. Tahoe Donner will also be exploring future opportunities over this property for hiking, biking, and equestrian usage in accordance with its comprehensive trails master plan and land use master plan.
Working with the Truckee Donner Land Trust, Tahoe Donner’s General Plan Committee, management and staff were able to negotiate the Crabtree Canyon purchase for less than $800 per acre. The Land Trust originally purchased this parcel for $2.4 million; our purchase price was $500,000, which equates to under $80 per Tahoe Donner member. Also, the funding for this purchase will require no special assessment to existing Tahoe Donner homeowners. It is covered by the development fund portion of the association’s existing budget, which is comprised of a percentage of each homeowner’s annual assessment.
Non-motorized summer and winter activities will be encouraged on the new parcel of land and officials from the Truckee Donner Land Trust envision a loop trail around the valley, with plans to link Tahoe Donner Independence Lake Preserve via a new trail system. Additionally, with our own forestry department actively working to minimize the threat of wildfire, and with motorized recreational vehicles prohibited throughout the year, this purchase successfully protects additional resources and valuable open space, allowing us to further achieve our vision and guiding principles, which include environmental stewardship.
“This land acquisition helps us move forward in keeping with our guiding principles, which includes environmental stewardship,” said Robb Etnyre, Tahoe Donner’s general manager. “The majority of our members surveyed last summer identified protecting and investing in open space and trails as a top priority for the association.”
“Carpenter Valley is one of the most spectacular — and little known — valleys in the entire Northern Sierra. Preserving the pristine natural beauty of our surroundings and ensuring continued recreational access is of utmost importance to us,” said Perry Norris, executive director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust. “This is a critical open space that is of great value to our community, and we are pleased to work with Tahoe Donner Association to help us protect it.”
Norris added that this land deal will help the Truckee Donner Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and The Northern Sierra Partnership with a future land acquisition of the larger Carpenter Valley area in 2017. Once acquired, that property will be open to the public for the first time in over a century. An announcement will be made once this larger purchase is officially completed.
Future article on this open space acquisition will be published in the May issue of Tahoe Donner News.
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About the Truckee Donner Land Trust
The Truckee Donner Land Trust preserves and protects scenic, historic and recreational lands with high natural resource values in the greater Truckee Donner region and manage recreational activities on these lands in a sustainable manner. Learn more at: www.tdlandtrust.org.
Truckee Donner Land Trust