Truckee groups look to preserve 240-acre stretch near Donner Lake |

Truckee groups look to preserve 240-acre stretch near Donner Lake

TRUCKEE – A team effort could preserve the ridge above Interstate 80 overlooking Donner Lake.

The Town of Truckee, Truckee Donner Land Trust and Tahoe Donner Association are teaming up to purchase 240 acres in what is known as the Bucknam Tract between I-80 and the Tahoe Donner Subdivision, pending town council approval Thursday. The property, previously owned by the Sincair family and subdivided into hundreds of small lots, was gifted to Stanford University in 2005.

“Historically those lots have been a concern of the town since incorporation,” said Town Manager Tony Lashbrook.

The purchase would prevent the potential headache of someone trying to develop on the steep terrain, Lashbrook said.

“The I-80 corridor scenic view shed has been of long-standing interest to the land trust,” said Perry Norris, executive director of the group. “There are hundreds and hundreds of postage-sized lots, and somewhere down the road they could have been a nightmare for the town and the community.”

The land trust is also interested in the property as a connection for the Donner Lake Rim Trail, a 23-mile trail the land trust is building encircling Donner Lake, Norris said.

The Tahoe Donner Association’s interest in the property would be to enhance its forestry and fuels management efforts, enhancing fire safety for its 6,000-lot subdivision, according to staff reports.

“We are thrilled to participate in the protection of this unique gateway property in the town of Truckee,” said Suzy Knisley, board of directors president for the Tahoe Donner Association in a statement. “This is an important location for conservation of our natural landscape, preservation of open space and Tahoe Donner’s ongoing efforts to responsibly manage forests for the minimization of wild fire risks.”

Johnson-Perkins and Associates assessed the property at $600,000, and Stanford has accepted a cash offer of $525,000 from the three entities, according to staff reports, with the town paying 40 percent, the land trust paying 40 percent and the Tahoe Donner Association paying 20 percent.

The Tahoe Donner Association would also pay for forestry work on the property.

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