Conservationists complete purchase of Donner Lake property
TRUCKEE, Calif. (AP) – Conservationists have completed the purchase of a 1,923-acre, forested ridgeline that forms the scenic backdrop to Donner Lake just west of this Sierra town.
With the help of a low-interest loan from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Trust for Public Land bought 750 acres of Schallenberger Ridge in April and the remaining 1,173 acres last week.
The property, valued at $3.1 million, was acquired from Croman Timber Corp. of Oregon.
The trust and Truckee Donner Land Trust hope to add nearly 2,500 acres, including the ridge, to Donner Memorial State Park over the next year.
”The same rugged skyline that greeted the early pioneers to California is now protected forever,” said Mary Nichols, secretary of the California Resources Agency. ”And as part of the (state park) it will be cared for and made available for the general public to enjoy.”
The 1,200-acre park along Interstate 80 attracts 150,000 visitors a year and commemorates the site of the tragic Donner Party of 1846-47.
Dozens of the covered-wagon pioneers starved to death and others resorted to cannibalism to survive after becoming stranded by heavy snow in the Sierra. Forty-two of the group’s 89 members died.
”Schallenberger Ridge is a major public resource,” said John Knott, superintendent of the state park system’s Sierra district. ”The property has outstanding vistas and natural features, and will be an absolutely wonderful addition to the state park system.”
Funding for the purchase will come from the state Habitat Conservation Fund, federal Land and Water Conservation Fund monies, and private sources.
About $1 million now will have to be obtained through local fund-raising efforts.
The purchase will extend public lands from Truckee to Donner Summit. Schallenberger Ridge is named for Moses Schallenberger, a member of the first party to take covered wagons over the Sierra – in 1844.
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.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User