Lake Tahoe’s popular trails get $45k maintenance boost
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — With higher usage in the Tahoe region, many of the existing trails are being loved to death. The Tahoe Fund is hoping to help solve this issue through its Tahoe Trails Endowment.
The nonprofit recently awarded $45,000 in grants from the endowment to the Tahoe Rim Trail Association and the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association to support trailwork on popular trails in the Tahoe Basin.
“The Tahoe Trails Endowment was created because our board and our donors recognize the importance of taking care of the trails we already have,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO. “These grants are great examples of the power of the endowment to generate annual funding support for much needed trailwork across the region.”
The TRTA’s Trail Segment Improvement Program was launched this summer to provide preventative maintenance on the 200-mile Tahoe Rim Trail. Every year, the program will include work to repair trail tread, clear downed trees and drainages, fix erosion damage, and decommission braided trails on three segments. This summer, nearly 70 miles of trail along the busiest TRT segments in the Tahoe region will be improved: Big Meadow to Echo Lakes (18.3 miles), Barker Pass to Tahoe City (16.4 miles), and Echo Lakes to Barker Pass (32.5 miles). The work will be completed by volunteer and conservation corp crews.
“This iconic trail gains in popularity every year, and as more people use it, it requires more continuous care,” said Morgan Steele, executive director of the TRTA. “We are grateful for the Tahoe Fund’s Tahoe Trails Endowment to help us stay on top of the maintenance needs of the Tahoe Rim Trail.”
TAMBA, the first recipient of a Tahoe Trails Endowment grant in 2021, will continue its trail crew maintenance program this year with support from the Tahoe Fund. A five person paid trail crew will work on a variety of trails around the lake throughout the summer and fall seasons, managing unforeseen needs like removing downed trees, clearing rock fall and addressing erosion issues as they arise. TAMBA is on track to perform maintenance on over 100 miles of trail in 2022.
“The funding the Tahoe Fund provided last year for maintenance needs was instrumental to us quickly repairing trails after the Caldor Fire that people use often,” said Patrick Parsel, trails director for TAMBA. “Unforeseen challenges like downed trees and erosion issues created by storms can often pose the greatest threats to user safety and the environment, so they’re important to resolve quickly. This funding will allow us to do that.”
Established as a way to address the long-term needs of Tahoe’s growing trail network, the Tahoe Fund hopes to grow the Tahoe Trails Endowment to $3 million to fund annual trail maintenance throughout the region. Currently, the endowment is at just over $1 million.
While building the endowment, the Tahoe Fund also continues its work with partners at the TRTA, TAMBA, Truckee Trails Foundation and public land managers to develop a Trails Master Plan that outlines priority ranking for trail work and allows everyone to think and plan long-term.
The endowment was launched in late 2020 with a generous $100,000 donation from Chris and Viktoria McNamara. For more information, visit http://www.tahoefund.org.
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