Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tahoe National Forest acquires prime Donner Summit land

Hole in the Ground trail.
The Tahoe National Forest recently purchased 1,370 acres on Donner Summit, north of Interstate 80. The newly acquired land near Castle Peak, White Rock Lake, and Lola Montez Lakes is notable for their recreation and wildlife habitats.

The purchase from Sierra Pacific Industries was facilitated by The Trust for Public Land and the Northern Sierra Partnership. The purchase price was approximately $1.3 million dollars. The money came from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, allocated by Congress from fees paid by companies drilling for off shore oil.

One big impact of the purchase will be a route change to the popular Hole in the Ground mountain bike trail. The current loop requires a ride along Donner Pass Road and two crossings of Highway 80. A new connector trail on the north side of Highway 80 will eliminate the highway crossings and pavement section.
Sierra Pacific Industries is a lumber company based in Anderson, California. The firm owns and manages nearly 1.9 acres of timberland in California and Washington.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund was created by Congress in 1964 to provide money to federal, state, and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans.
Northern Sierra Partnership seeks to conserve, restore, and enhance the northern Sierra Nevada region and its communities.
The purchase was finalized on March 12, according to the Forest Service news release.

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