Donner Lake Boaters Beware

The Town of Truckee and the Tahoe Resource Conservation District have pre-determined that the Donner Lake public boat ramp should be gated because of the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Ordinance adopted by the Town in January 2014.

On June 16 approximately 25 concerned boaters scrambled to attend a thinly publicized Town of Truckee and Tahoe RCD “workshop.” Boaters were shocked to learn plans were already well along to install a gate at Donner Lake despite the lack of public input. The Town had already proactively obtained grant funding. Without studying usage patterns. Without analyzing the actual risk from off-season boaters — most of whom are locals and are well aware of the risk of AIS.

This act will drastically restrict or completely prohibit boaters’ access to the only public boat ramp on Donner Lake during certain hours and entire months of the year. The current inspection program, while often inconvenient for locals who are already aware of AIS, has worked. It informs the public of the risk and prevents access to the lake when the vast majority of at-risk boats are around.


Let the Town know your thoughts. Take the survey at Send emails to Dan Olsen at the Town. Attend the Sept. 28 public meeting at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. Get involved, or risk losing year-round, 24/7 lake access.

~ Brendan Hawkins, concerned resident, Verdi, via letter

KSL Plan Analysis Based on Poor Science

The beauty and uniqueness of Squaw Valley is being threatened in an unprecedented manner if KSL’s proposal is adopted without further examination. I am fortunate to call Squaw Valley and the greater Sierra Nevada wilderness my playground and any changes that are made here require responsible, critical thinking. As a practicing physical therapist in the Northern Nevada/Tahoe area, it is my responsibility to provide my patients with the most current evidence-based practice to ensure optimal results. Years of training and study have taught me techniques to critique scientific papers and apply those results. Without this ability, my patients would suffer.

Simply, KSL’s development plan is being accepted on poor scientific grounds. KSL presents a two-front argument. First, they believe there will be little impact on the water in the valley. Second, traffic patterns would not be negatively affected. Both fronts are wrong. The water model they presented cites historical data and ignores any predictive findings. Even the model creator stated that it was not “designed or calibrated for that purpose.” The traffic study was then completed during the winter years of 2011/2012 when a historic drought significantly reduced the amount of traffic on the roads to Squaw Valley. Therefore, these findings should be dismissed as outliers.

Ultimately, it would be irresponsible for me as a clinician to use interventions that are supported by bad science as much as it would be irresponsible for Placer County to accept the scientific claims of KSL.

~ Matthew Oravitz, DPT, FAAOMPT, Reno, via letter

In response to Two Developments Tip the Scales

So Many Flaws in Squaw Plan

A search today in the Multiple Listing Service shows 86 condos for sale in Olympic Valley. The current hotels in the valley are rarely sold out. If people want to stay in the valley they can do that now. There is no shortage of condos for sale. To think that people will sell their homes in Tahoe Donner to buy a two-bedroom condo on the eighth floor of a high rise makes no sense. The EIR show so many flaws to the proposal that it makes it hard to even consider this plan as serious. Traffic effects and other negative impacts are understated. Please remember that the EIR is KSL’s document — even with their bias, the document is damning. People will support a good project with reasonable growth. This project is neither and must be denied.

~ Peter Schweitzer, Olympic Valley, via online

Squaw Redevelopment is Much-Needed Revitalization

Squaw Valley has been one of the anchors of the community, and today it is, by far, the region’s largest economic driver of the area. The improvements that were invested into Squaw Valley when it hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics have served the community well. However, the infrastructure today has been greatly stressed and is in critical need of further reinvestment to keep pace with current and future demands.

The current redevelopment proposal seeks to undertake much-needed revitalization and restoration of Squaw Creek to complete the initial Village construction; provide a source of needed housing for local workers; and create an indoor recreation area to transform Squaw Valley into a year-round resort.

In addition, it is estimated that the project will generate $25 million in annual estimated tax revenue that will help properly fund critical services, as well as create jobs related to road improvements, transit, enhanced public services, parks and recreation improvements, and schools and public safety, too.

SRBX supports the Village at Squaw Valley Redevelopment Plan, which represents an opportunity to not only create new jobs, but also ensure the North Lake Tahoe economy continues to thrive well into the future.

~ The Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange, via letter. Founded in 1901 and serving nearly 1,200 member companies, SRBX is the construction industry’s oldest and largest association in the region.

In response to Miles from Nowhere

Where does the JMT begin?

The JMT [John Muir Trail] does not begin at its northern terminus in Tuolumne Meadows. Its actual official starting point is at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. Though I understand the revulsion of any hard-core hiker to begin or end the JMT in the over-crowded, disgusting Yosemite Valley, it’s important to be factual. Next, the photograph accompanying the article that is captioned “Start of the Trip” shows the far south end of Lyell Canyon just prior to the arduous ascent to Donahue Pass. This location in the photo is many miles from the start.

~ Jeffrey Van Middlebrook, Los Altos, via letter

Editors note: According to the National Park Service most people begin the hike at Happy Isles (its traditional start in Yosemite Valley), however many people begin at Lyell Canyon (Tuolumne Meadows) because permits for this trailhead are slightly easier to obtain. ~ AG