In a victory for environmentalists, the Carpenter valley, a 1317 acre plot of land that sits one ridge over from the Tahoe Donner ski resort will be set aside for preservation. The Northern Sierra Partnership, a group based out of Palo Alto and funded mainly by Silicon Valley donors, stepped in as the land was about to hit the market. The Partnership also includes the Nature Conservancy, Truckee Donner Land Trust, and the Sierra Business Council. They purchased the Valley for $10 million in a deal that closes today.
The Carpenter Valley was once described by its previous owners as “what Squaw Valley looked like 100 years ago”. It serves as home to many Black Bears and Eagles and is covered in carpets of wildflowers as well as a completely untouched stream running through it. The Northern Sierra Partnership feared that it was next in line for a golf course and/or a housing development.
“We are in a race with developers. People are building second homes up here it’s tied to the prosperity of the Bay Area. We are trying to connect and protect the landscapes of the Northern Sierra.” – Lucy Blake, President of the Northern Sierra Partnership
The partnership also raised $910,000 to put towards trails, bridges, fencing, and a caretaker cabin. 1.34 Million was also raised for the permanent stewardship of the valley. Just over the ridge. Tahoe Donner Ski resort will also end up with half of the valley as part of the deal, but is restricted by conservation easements that allow no development. The valley will open to the public for low impact activities like cross country skiing and hiking in the coming years. One ridge over the Tahoe Donner development has 5,000 homes and continues to grow, yet the Carpenter Valley will go in a different direction and remain untouched.
You’d have McMansions and Tennis Courts in the middle of the meadow, instead in 50 or 100 years its going to look pretty damn close to the way it does now.” – Perry Norris, Executive Director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust
With all the buzz about the Squaw Valley Village development and the Martis West development, it is good to hear about a victory for conservationists.