Camp Richardson Corral horses return to pasture at Fallen Leaf Lake
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Fallen Leaf Lake offers a new scenic view as Camp Richardson Corral horses returned to traditional, seasonal grazing grounds on Thursday, Sept. 8.
U.S. Forest Service recreation permit manager Jonathan Cook-Fisher said horses stir up nostalgia for the area.
“It’s a nice story because that use of horses in the pasture is so iconic in the West, and it’s nice to have it in Lake Tahoe,” Cook-Fisher said.
According to Kelly Ross, the corral’s co-owner, the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit approved the horses’ return after a 12-year hiatus.
“This is a huge accomplishment for us to go through,” Ross said. “It’s a unique site for families and photographers to go through there and take photos of horses in the field.”
The decision will allow Camp Richardson Corral to rest its grazing area at the corral itself on Emerald Bay Road after a summer season. Horses will be rotated through a field known as Fredericks Pasture until they are transported to winter grounds in Gardnerville, Nev.
The U.S. Forest Service originally removed horses from Camp Richardson Corral 12 years ago over environmental concerns. When the corral renewed its operating permit for another 20 years, the horses were allowed to return.
Camp Richardson Corral has operated for 81 years on Emerald Bay Road. Ross and her husband, Quint, own the business, which was founded by Quint’s grandfather, Allen Ross. The family-owned business leases its current location from the U.S. Forest Service since the federal agency purchased the land in 1967.
Both parties set up a comprehensive environmental monitoring system to make sure the area is preserved — since it’s considered a sensitive area. A federal environmental impact study found no significant impact on the landscape if horses returned to graze.
“We are stewards of the land, and we want to make sure we coexist with the landscape,” Ross said.
For more information on Camp Richardson Corral, visit http://www.camprichardsoncorral.com/