Rim Trail funding passes Senate committee
Funding to buy the last privately owned parcel needed to complete the 150-mile Tahoe Rim Trail around the Tahoe Basin was approved by a U.S. Senate appropriations committee last week.
On Thursday, the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee voted to spend $900,000 so sponsors of the Tahoe Rim Trail could purchase two parcels in the Martis Peak and Barker Pass areas. The parcels were the last privately held ridgetop land that trail planners need to acquire before completing the final 16 miles of the 150-mile loop trail.
“We’re very pleased this has gone through one of the subcommittees,” said Lynda McDowell, Tahoe Rim Trail’s executive director. “The parcels are in a very critical, one-mile section of the proposed trail. Without that one mile, we wouldn’t be able to link up the trail on the ridgetops.”
Of the 16 remaining miles, an eight-mile stretch will connect Tahoe City with Twin Peaks, but is located on public land. Another seven-mile segment in the Mount Rose area is also located on public land.
The area where the private parcels are located is near Brockway Summit, and is the location where the trail sponsors plan to build the final link in the trans-basin trail.
“There’s light at the end of the tunnel,” McDowell said. “I can almost smell it.”
Funding for the purchase must still be approved by the House budget panel.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., lobbied for the trail funds, and said completion of the Tahoe Rim Trail would be a major milestone in the basin’s history.
“This is an important victory for the people of Lake Tahoe, as well as for the Tahoe Rim Trail volunteer organization, which has worked on this project since 1984,” Boxer said. “The trail will be a boon to the region’s important tourism industry and a lasting gift for people who love the great outdoors.”
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