News Briefs

National Forest Acquires 982 Acres of Critical Meadow Habitat

NEVADA CITY

Tahoe National Forest has acquired 982 acres within Perazzo Meadows located northwest of Truckee, after a Truckee Donner Land Trust donation. The acreage includes 16 adjoining parcels of an old subdivision in which developers had previously planned high-end residential development. The land trust purchased the parcels in 2008, permanently protecting the land from development.

CRITICAL HABITAT PROTECTED: Tahoe National Forest has acquired 982 acres within Perazzo Meadows located northwest of Truckee after the Truckee Donner Land Trust donated the land to the forest. Courtesy photo

The acquisition was made possible thanks to the land trust, along with its partners Trust for Public Land and Northern Sierra Partnership, and funders including the California Wildlife Conservation Board, California Natural Resources Agency and Caltrans Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program.

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The land is located in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Checkerboard, which is a land ownership pattern from the transcontinental railroad era land grants. The Tahoe National Forest has been working with partners to conserve lands within the checkerboard for the purpose of improving public access, promoting landscape-level ecosystem management, and improving overall land management. In preparation for the transfer of these lands to the forest service, substantial ecological restoration work in the meadow along the Little Truckee River was completed by Truckee River Watershed Council and the land trust

The acquired land includes the last remaining sizable private property in the Perazzo Meadows system which includes critical habitat for the endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and hosts one of California’s largest source populations of willow flycatchers. The meadows are incredibly scenic and boast top-tier public recreation opportunities. The meadows are also an essential part of the Truckee River watershed, a significant source of drinking and agricultural water for the Truckee and Sierra Valley, and Reno/Sparks areas.

With the newly acquired land, the Tahoe National Forest plans to provide public access to existing trails, manage fish and wildlife habitat in ways that promote the recovery of threatened and endangered species, protect and restore the watershed and resources, and promote the ecological integrity of native forests.  

~ Tahoe National Forest press release

West River Street Park Community Meeting

TRUCKEE

The West River Street Park is planned as a riverfront restoration project in downtown Truckee at the site of the former Nevada County Corp Yard (10257 West River St.). The park proposes riparian restoration, paths and plazas, landscaping with native plants, benches, and picnic tables. Three grants are planned to fund a portion of park and trail construction. The project will go out to bid this winter, with construction expected to begin this summer.

RIVERFRONT RESTORATION: The Town of Truckee is hosting a community meeting on Jan. 8 regarding the West River Street Park, a planned riverfront restoration project in downtown Truckee at the site of the former Nevada County Corp Yard (10257 West River St.). Courtesy rendering

The Town of Truckee invites the community to a discussion about West River Street Park on Monday, Jan. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Truckee Town Hall. Several town staff will be available to answer questions and outline details of the project.

Refreshments and professional Spanish interpreters will be available on-site. There is also a Zoom option that will be available in both English and Spanish.

Join Zoom Meeting: us06web.zoom.us/j/87181494082?pwd=dbgmD9v9TM96wBo35qFRVQvt0bBY6q.1

Meeting ID: 871 8149 4082

Passcode: 619281

~ Town of Truckee press release

County Awarded $650,000 for Climate Resilience

NEVADA CITY

Nevada County was awarded $650,000 from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research to work with key partners to help build climate resilience. The money will be used to develop a climate collaborative of local organizations in Western Nevada County, sustain and enhance the Climate Transformation Alliance (CTA) in eastern Nevada County, and create a climate adaptation and resilience plan. The plan will identify priority projects to enhance regional readiness for climate risks like wildfire and extreme weather events. It will also incorporate Indigenous knowledge and prioritize climate-vulnerable populations such as older adults and those without broadband.

Grant partners include the Sierra Business Council, the Town of Truckee, Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe, Truckee Tahoe Airport District, and Truckee Donner Public Utility District.

The funding was part of $21.7 million awarded statewide as part of California’s Regional Resilience Grant for the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program.

~ Nevada County press release

What Washoe County Residents Need To Know About the Presidential Preference Primary

WASHOE COUNTY

Sample ballots and mail-in ballots are appearing in mailboxes across Washoe County this week for the first-ever Presidential Preference Primary in Nevada. Here’s what residents need to know:

  1. This election is only for registered Republicans and Democrats: In the 2021 Legislative Session, the Nevada State Legislature passed new election laws that replace the usual party caucuses with a Presidential Preference Primary. Only voters registered with the main two parties — Republican and Democrat — will be able to participate in this primary. Nevada allows same-day registration, and if independent or nonpartisan voters wish to change their registration to a major party, they may do so before or on the day of the election. Learn more here. The primary will be held on Feb. 6, with optional early voting from Jan. 27 through Feb. 2. 
  2. Political parties ultimately decide how to select their candidates: The Presidential Preference Primary is non-binding. Major parties are responsible for how they select their nominee for president.
  3. The Republican Party will also conduct a caucus: Because political parties determine how they will select their candidates, the Republican Party has opted to conduct a caucus on Feb. 8.
  4. Candidates must have filed with the State of Nevada to appear on the Presidential Preference Primary ballot: Candidates who want to appear on the ballot must file with the Nevada Secretary of State. The Nevada Republican Party has determined that those who file to be on the ballot may not participate in the caucus. This is why some candidates are listed on the ballot and some are not. Notably, Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump are not on the Presidential Preference Primary ballot in Washoe County because their campaigns opted to not file for the primary and instead participate in the caucus. In addition, some candidates who filed to be on the ballot have since dropped out. By law, Washoe County cannot remove them from the ballot.
  5. The Presidential Preference Primary does not replace the Primary in June.
  6. The Sample Ballot is a tool to help residents plan their vote. It is not an official ballot.
  7. Mail-in ballots may be mailed or dropped off, or voters may vote in person. Vote locations are listed here

For more information on the Presidential Preference Primary, how to register to vote or update voter registration, visit washoecounty.gov/voters.  

~ Washoe County press release

Mobile Crisis Team Expands Services to 24/7 Coverage 

AUBURN

Starting Jan. 1, Placer County’s Mobile Crisis Team transitioned to round-the-clock service, seven days a week, to meet people in crisis where they are — whether in a park, at a school, in a shelter, at home, in a parking lot, or beyond. The expansion is a step forward in providing immediate help for people experiencing mental health or substance use crises, including homeless individuals.

Watch a video about the Mobile Crisis Team.

The mobile crisis team is composed of a mental health clinician, a psychiatric nurse, and/or a peer advocate, who is an individual with special training and lived experience. These teams help people develop safe and supportive plans to cope with mental health crises. Services are tailored to individual needs yet may include nursing triage, referrals for needed services and linkage to ongoing mental health treatment. Mobile crisis services are in the process of expanding statewide.

Placer’s Mobile Crisis Team serves most of the county, from Roseville to the Alta area, with separate mobile teams for the Tahoe/Truckee area operated by a contractor through both Placer and Nevada counties. The team collaborates closely with local law enforcement agencies, educators, treatment providers and other community partners to receive referrals, but individuals in crisis or their loved ones can also call for help directly at (888) 886-5401.

~ Placer County press release

SECRET ACCESS: Snowshoers get lessons in history at Sugar Pine Point State Park. Photo courtesy Heidi Doyle

Full Moon Snowshoe Tours

TAHOMA

Sierra State Park interpreters will be leading full moon snowshoe tours on Jan. 27, Feb. 24, March 23, and April 20. Tours will explore the natural and cultural history around the Hellman-Ehrman estate at Sugar Pine Point State Park. 

For those new to snowshoeing, there will be a beginner’s clinic at 6:30 p.m. The hike is from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and costs $45 per adult and $25 per child ages 12 and under. The cost includes snowshoe rentals, park entrance, and guided hike. Tickets are available at sierrastateparks.org/events. There is a 50-person limit per tour. Funds raised support education activities at the park.

~ Sierra State Parks Foundation press release

CLIMATE PRESENTATION: Katharine Hayhoe will present at the Tahoe Science Center. Courtesy photo

Climate Scientist to Present at Tahoe Science Center

INCLINE VILLAGE

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC), and University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe present climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe to the Tahoe Science Center at 291 Country Club Dr. in Incline Village on Jan. 23 at 10:30 a.m. 

Hayhoe is the chief scientist of The Nature Conservancy, a Horn Distinguished Professor and Endowed Professor of Public Policy and Public Law at Texas Tech University, the lead author of the Second, Third, and Fourth National Climate Assessments, and her work has resulted in over 125 peer-reviewed papers, abstracts, and other publications. Her best-selling book, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, will be available for purchase at the event.

For those unable to attend, the presentation will be available via live stream and video recording. Visit hayhoe-tahoe.eventbrite.com for more information, including tickets.

~ TERC press release

Placer County Retail Theft Initiative

ROSEVILLE

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office announced a countywide campaign with local law enforcement and chambers of commerce to promote a new retail theft vertical prosecution program and ongoing law enforcement efforts, while continuing conversations with local businesses on retail theft.

COMBATTING RETAIL THEFT: Placer County businesses can hang this sign in their store windows in a new countywide initiative. Courtesy graphic

The campaign is a sign for businesses to put in their windows that states, “This business is protected by Placer County’s retail theft initiative.” The sign has a QR code that leads to the county’s new retail theft initiative information page.

In October, the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted to accept a $2-million state grant for the district attorney’s office’s new Retail Theft Vertical Prosecution Program. With these grant funds, the office will add one full-time deputy district attorney, a district attorney investigator, and a crime analyst to work on the investigation and prosecution of retail theft crimes.

Businesses who want to participate and learn more about the countywide initiative can do so here

~ Placer County District Attorney press release

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

Amy Ohran, Kellie Kessel Join Tahoe Fund

Amy Ohran, vice president and general manager of Northstar California Resort, has joined the Tahoe Fund board of directors. Invited because of her leadership experience and passion for mountain sports and the environment, Ohran will contribute to the organization as it works to improve the Lake Tahoe environment. In addition, the Tahoe Fund welcomes financial tech expert Kellie Kessel to its investment committee.

NEW ON THE BOARD: The Tahoe Fund board of directors welcomes Amy Ohran. Courtesy photo

Ohran has been part of the ski industry for over 30 years. She also serves on the boards of Ski California, the National Ski Areas Association, and the North Tahoe Community Alliance, and is focused on supporting women and emerging leaders as they grow in the outdoor recreation industry. Prior to joining Vail Resorts as the leader of Northstar California, Ohran was director of staff and skier services at Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon, and most recently held the role of vice president and general manager of Woodward Mountain Centers in Tahoe and Park City, Utah.

Kessel, a retired financial technology executive, brings corporate financial and nonprofit board experience to the Tahoe Fund’s investment committee. Most recently, Kessel served as managing director of Black Knight Financial Services. She has also been a senior vice president at Wells Fargo Bank and has served on multiple corporate and nonprofit boards. Currently, Kessel is pursuing an MA in nonprofit management from Johns Hopkins University.

~ Tahoe Fund press release

Raymond Brown Retires from Sanitary District

TRUCKEE

The Truckee Sanitary District (TSD) announced the retirement of long-time employee Raymond Brown. 

Brown started with TSD in 2002 as an assistant engineer. During his 21 years of service with the district, he also served as senior engineer, district engineer, and assistant general manager/district engineer. Brown’s last day was Friday, Dec. 29, 2023. At a special retirement lunch at the district offices, Brown was presented with a resolution of appreciation from board president Denny Anderson, who said, “Raymond was a valuable asset who always helped foster a positive workplace culture and worked collaboratively with the other local agencies, homeowners, and developers for the betterment of our community.” 

RAYMOND BROWN WITH BOARD: From left to right: Brian Smart, Marcus Waters, Raymond Brown, Denny Anderson. Courtesy photo

Blake Tresan, general manager, added, “Raymond’s tremendous work ethic and knowledge of the construction industry leaves a legacy that will protect the public health and environment   of the Truckee area for decades to come.” 

Raymond lives in Gardnerville and said he looks forward to traveling and spending more time with his family.

~ TSD press release

Business Briefs

Disposal Business to Share Improved Collection Services Beginning January

TRUCKEE/NORTH TAHOE

More than three years after a case was filed against Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal for, in part, performing fraudulent business acts and services, misleading billing practices, and breach of contract, the garbage and recycling collection business will share the court-ordered improvements to its services. The first amended class action complaint, filed Sept. 28, 2020, can be found here.

According to the settlement agreement with Plaintiff Jaime Lopez, TTSD will 

  • create a full-time auditor position
  • reinstate a “can averaging” billing statement for the Town of Truckee where each customer is allotted a certain number of cans per quarter 
  • task employees to resolve customer complaints
  • implement a customer claim process
  • conduct monthly service meetings
  • modify the website
  • and more

TTSD’s Kelli Hare shared with Moonshine that staff expects to report the status of its results in this month’s newsletter, currently being finalized and reviewed by counsel.

~ AH

Elyse Saugstad to Present at Winter Speaker Series

TAHOE CITY

On Wednesday, Jan. 17, the 18th annual Alpenglow Sports Winter Speaker Series, presented by Tahoe Mountain Realty, continues with local freeskier and film producer Elyse Saugstad. Saugstad won the Freeride World Tour in 2008, was named Freeskiing Magazine’s Skier of the Year in 2018, and won the Powder Video Awards Best Female Performance twice. 

Saugstad will share how her experiences have given her a unique perspective that is valuable not only to athletes but to anyone who wants to develop their mountain and life instincts, learn how to conquer and use fear to find success, and achieve their goals.

FREESKIING LEGEND: Elyse Saugstad has chiseled out a highly successful career through determination and grit. Photo courtesy Zoya Lynch

The free event will take place at the Palisades Tahoe Olympic Village Events Center and is available via livestream on the Alpenglow Sports’ YouTube channel. Doors open at 6 p.m. with food available for purchase from Mogrog Rotisserie. The show starts at 7 p.m. Saugstad’s show   is dedicated to the Courage Project, the nonprofit beneficiary of the evening, 

With over 3,000 attendees annually, the Alpenglow Winter Speaker Series is a forum for adventure storytelling, community gathering, and philanthropy. Past speakers include Lynn Hill, Hilaree Nelson, Jeremy Jones, Emily Harrington, Cody Townsend, Alex Honnold, Adrian Ballinger, and more. 

Each show is dedicated to a different nonprofit. To date, the Winter Speaker Series has raised over $1,350,000 for local organizations, not including the 2023/24 season. There will be over $15,000 in prizes given away.

Register here to watch the livestream of the event and automatically receive a free entry into the online giveaway. Registration is not required to attend the event in person.

~ Alpenglow Sports press release 

Demo Event Returns to Palisades Tahoe

OLYMPIC VALLEY

Alpenglow Sports’ Annual Lake Tahoe Backcountry Demo Event for alpine touring, telemark, and splitboarding will take place on Jan. 6 at the Alpine side of Palisades Tahoe.

“Back country is expensive and lasts forever — we want people to get their dream set up out of the gate and just enjoy being in the wilderness with gear they know and trust,” says Brendan Madigan with Alpenglow Sports.

The event is free, although guests need a valid lift ticket or Ikon pass to test the equipment. Demos begin at 9 a.m. with vendors allowing guests to test the downhill performance of gear before trying other equipment. Participating companies include DPS Skis, Dynafit, Black Diamond Equipment, Tecnica, Blizzard, Lange, Black Crows, Marker, Volkl, Elan, Roxa, Atomic, Scarpa, and Fischer.

~ Palisades Tahoe press release

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