Burton Creek’s anonymity ends as community suggests use for state park
Hidden deep in the forest behind Tahoe City is a 3,000-acre state park.
Although some may not know about this park, almost 100 community members attended the first informational meeting regarding the park’s general plan.
“Right now we are just gathering background information. This is just the first step,” said Don Michaely, state Department of Parks and Recreation district landscape architect.
The general plan for the Burton Creek State Park will take about three years to formulate, and Parks and Recreation is gathering public comment as part of the first phase for this process, Michaely said. The agency will probably gather public comment on the plan throughout the next year.
“We are accepting all forms of information,” said Michaely.
During an informational meeting on June 29, community members gave suggestions about what they would like to see in the park. Those attending the public meeting last week proposed a variety of uses for the park from a maritime museum to more campsites.
“Our vision is to make the Maritime Museum a world-recognized organization,” said Tom Bredt, a member of the Maritime Museum board of directors.
Bredt said the Burton Creek State Park general plan would be a perfect opportunity to plan for a year-round museum.
“We’re committed to preserving Tahoe’s maritime history,” Bredt said.
Bredt proposed a permanent lakefront museum on the 6.5-acre Tahoe State Recreation Area, the campground next to the Lighthouse Center. The museum is estimated at $7.5 million.
“I would hate to see anything displace the campsites in Tahoe City,” said Bob McCormick.
Some suggested the State Park’s agency build more campsites, while others suggested a golf course on the acreage.
Some felt a golf course would not be appropriate for the property.
“We’re not mowing down the forest for a huge fairway,” said Gregg Henrikson.
Others suggested the general plan take into account the cross country skiing facility located on the Dollar Property. The Dollar Property consists of 960 acres and is owned by the California Tahoe Conservancy. This property will be given to the State Park upon completion of the general plan.
“As a resident of the highlands, I’m concerned with any development on land which encloses my home on two sides,” said Joann Russell, who suggested the property be left as natural as possible.
Although the State Parks stressed that nothing is a done deal at this point as far as the general plan is concerned.
However, State Parks did mention in some cases their general plans have no changes.
State Parks will stay open for comment throughout the planning process and the process is expected to last three years.
“It’s still an open process,” said Michaely.
Fax the California Department of Parks and Recreation, call or write a letter expressing concerns or wishes for the Burton Creek State Park: fax 581-5849, write Don Michaely at P.0. Box 16, Tahoe City, CA 96145, or call 581-5849.
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