Carson City Sawmill topic of Tuesday open house

Kurt Hildebrand / Record Courier
Workers pile up logs burned in the Caldor Fire at a site leased from the Washoe Tribe on Aug. 3.
Kurt Hildebrand/Record Courier

Discussion of a sawmill on Washoe Tribe land filled the room at an Aug. 23 community meeting held in the James Lee Park meeting room last week, according to a neighbor who attended.

Another session to discuss the sawmill is scheduled for 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Washoe Development Corp. Red Barn at 3264 Sunridge Drive just east of Highway 395.

The sawmill is making national news with stories focusing on forest-thinning projects as a means to slow down wildfires.

Residents are seeking help from Douglas County to try and halt the project.

The property abuts the neighborhood north of Jacks Valley Road near Summerhill Road.

Tahoe Forest Products leased 40 acres from the Washoe Tribe and has been bringing logs in on Topsy Way from Highway 395 since July.

Those logs were from salvage and clean-up efforts at Sierra-at-Tahoe, which were burned in last year’s Caldor Fire.

With three megafires within 100 miles of Carson Valley last summer, there are lots of big logs to cut up. Tahoe Forest Products estimates that the sawmill will produce up to 5 million board feet a year starting in early 2023.

“The Forest Service encourages expansion of sustainable value-added businesses and markets for byproducts of forest restoration and hazardous fuels reduction projects,” said Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Forest Supervisor Erick J. Walker. “It’s great to have this facility coming online and adding to the suite of businesses that contribute to the restoration economy.”

While logs have been piling up on the property, no construction has begun on the buildings proposed to the site, nor has the proposed well been dug to serve the property.

Alpine View resident Ellie Waller asked the county to weigh in on the well.

Neighbor Melanie Krause questioned why the county isn’t doing more for Jacks Valley residents about the installation, pointing out that it uses a county road to access the site.

Last week, residents encouraged commissioners to dig in their heels on a proposal to mine gravel on a site above Johnson Lane that would use the road to transport material to Highway 395.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.