News Briefs

Updated Basin Area Plan Amendments to be Presented


After concern from community members over proposed changes to the Tahoe Basin Area Plan, which attempt to kickstart economies on the North Shore, Placer County staff will present updated amendments to the community on Aug. 1.

“We took out proposals to increase height beyond 56 feet … and we took out the building length proposals,” said Crystal Jacobsen, deputy director of the county’s Community Development Resource Agency in Tahoe City. Building height was a major worry mentioned by locals last fall when the amendments were first presented. Maximum building length in the Mixed Use – Tourist town center subdistrict dropped from 350 feet to 200 feet. Review the latest proposed TBAP changes here.


“Those were the two big ones [that] came out of this package,” Jacobsen told Moonshine. “That doesn’t mean we won’t explore them in another package.”

At the Aug. 1 meeting county staff will review the changes made since the Dec. 8, 2022, planning commission hearing, at which the commissioners continued the item to a later date, allowing staff to address community feedback. This town hall will take place virtually via Zoom at 5:30 p.m. Find webinar details here.

On Aug. 10 at 11 a.m. county staff will then go forward with the TBAP amendments to the planning commission for recommendation of approval to the Placer County Board of Supervisors (Oct. 27 meeting). Both of these latter meetings will take place in person at the North Tahoe Event Center, 8318 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach.

~ AH

DONNER PASS ROAD is anticipated to re-open for Labor Day weekend. The road will be opened after geotechnical studies are completed, the slope is stabilized, and repairs to the road, guardrail, and retaining wall are completed. In June, a 40-ton rockfall occurred that resulted in damage and road closure. Courtesy photo

Donner Pass Road Update: Road Anticipated to Open Labor Day Weekend


A portion of Donner Pass Road (Old Highway 40, about 1 mile west of Donner Lake) is anticipated to open Labor Day weekend; however, it remains closed to traffic after a rockfall and the potential for more unsafe rock falls. For public safety, the rockfall area is closed to all activities such as hiking, biking, climbing, and driving, although many recreational opportunities and access to local businesses or restaurants remain available above and below the closed area.

Nevada County Public Works closed the road following a 40-ton rock mass that fell into the roadway in June. The road will be opened after geotechnical studies are completed, the slope is stabilized, and repairs to the road, guardrail, and retaining wall are completed.

Additionally, Herback General Engineering will begin to work on the final touches (striping, ditch reshaping, and signage repairs) to the Donner Pass Road Improvement Project above and below the road closure. Herback will try to minimize delays and use one-way traffic controls.

Learn more in the Donner Summit Association’s newsletter, which highlights the situation and what’s to come. Additionally, residents can follow along past and current project updates at, view the location of the road closure on public works’ Road Conditions and Closures map at, and find updates on Nevada County Public Works Facebook page.

Public works will provide an update as additional information becomes available. Meanwhile, residents are advised to please stay out of the closed area per signage at both ends of the road closure.

~ Nevada County press release

Tahoe Conservancy Grants $500,000 for Study to Protect Wildlife Corridors


The California Tahoe Conservancy has awarded a $500,000 grant to the nonprofit Wildlands Network, in partnership with Pathways for Wildlife, for a multi-year study of wildlife connectivity in the California side of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Understanding how wildlife moves through and within the Basin will help land managers and other Basin partners protect the diversity of Tahoe wildlife species.

Wildlands Network and Pathways for Wildlife will analyze wildlife movement patterns, distribution, and abundance. The study team will also identify key barriers and bottlenecks to wildlife movement, such as roads and infrastructure development. Using this information, the team will recommend actions Basin partners can take to remove barriers to enhance existing wildlife connectivity.

Native wildlife move across the landscape to find food, mates, and new territories annually, seasonally, or even daily. Development at Lake Tahoe has fragmented wildlife habitat. Roads, other structures, and degraded habitat all pose barriers to wildlife movement.

Climate change can impact the quality and distribution of habitat, and the ranges of some species are already shifting. Connectivity is becoming more important to allow wildlife to adapt, adjust, and move in response to climate change.

The study results will help the conservancy and other Tahoe land managers base management decisions on a more complete understanding of wildlife movement and connectivity in the Basin. For example, the study data will help inform Basin forestry projects to meet forest resilience and biodiversity goals.

Wildlands Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. Its mission is to reconnect, restore, and rewild North America so that life — in all its diversity — can thrive.

Pathways for Wildlife works with land trusts, conservation organizations, and transportation agencies, to help identify important wildlife and habitat linkages for land conservation efforts by conducting wildlife connectivity surveys and implementing connectivity designs for wildlife movement within a landscape.

Funding for this grant comes from the State of California’s 2021 climate resilience package.

~ California Tahoe Conservancy press release

Board Approves Additional Funding for Lease To Locals Housing Initiative


Continuing efforts to maximize rental options for North Tahoe residents and local workers, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved on July 25 additional funding for the county’s Lease to Locals program.

The board unanimously approved the allocation of $500,000 in Transient Occupancy Tax reserve funds to continue the program for a second year and provide additional grants to more homeowners with underused properties in North Lake Tahoe who agree to rent only to locals.

The new funding includes $95,000 for Placemate to continue implementing and marketing the Lease to Locals program over the next year.

The Lease to Locals program incentivizes property owners to offer their property for seasonal leases of between five and 12 months or long-term for 12 months or more, with incentive amounts varying by the length of lease and number of tenants.

Since the program’s implementation in August 2022, 86 local workers have found short-term rental housing through the program.

“We know that local workforce housing continues to be at the forefront of community conversations in North Lake Tahoe,” said NTCA President and CEO Tony Karwowski. “We are focused on supporting and advocating for solutions that benefit our residents and businesses and are pleased to recommend turned-back TOT funding for Placemate to continue for a second year.”

To qualify, a property must be located in unincorporated Placer County within the boundaries of its Eastern Placer Transient Occupancy Tax district. To be eligible, units cannot have been rented long-term within the past 12 months. Property owners also must submit an application, sign a lease with qualifying tenants, and undergo lease checks to ensure they are in compliance.

A prospective tenant must be an adult employed at least 20 hours per week at an employment site within the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District geographical boundary and not a blood relation to the property owner.

Placemate, previously known as Landing Locals, handles all qualifying tenants and landlords currently utilizing the program and advertises the availability of rentals throughout the region on its website.

Placemate has similar agreements in place with the Town of Truckee, South Lake Tahoe, and other mountain resort communities in Colorado and Idaho.

Learn more about the program here:

Find housing in Eastern Placer here:

~ Placer County press release

School of Music Announces Completion of New Recording Studio


Tahoe Truckee School of Music is excited to announce the completion of its new state-of-the-art recording studio. It was designed by Jamie Candiloro, a Grammy-nominated Los Angeles-based producer, engineer, composer, and musician, with the goal of creating a space for learning where students as well as seasoned musicians can record projects and listen back critically to their music. Tahoe Truckee School of Music is accepting bookings through September for students and local musicians.

Please call (530) 587-3274 for rates, availability, and questions.

“Recording can be a great tool for learning and can contribute to not only a student’s development and love for music, but to our community as a whole,” says Executive Director Ben Martin at Tahoe Truckee School of Music. “The music school has long focused on building an environment that serves as a positive outlet not only for learning, but creativity, fun, and interaction with others. Now with the addition of the professional recording studio, student musicians as well as experienced artists in the community can work together to bring their passions and visions to life.”

The Tahoe Truckee School of Music recording studio is intended to inspire and bring together people passionate about songs, engineering, production, and sound. Candiloro says, “I was inspired by the idea that the system could be simple enough for people to use it on their own, hire outside engineers, and teach a new generation.”

The recording studio features a 16-channel analog Mackie console integrated with multiple DAWs. The room offers a curated mic collection and all the bells and whistles for bands or singer-songwriters to create. Candiloro has also overseen aesthetic upgrades for a relaxing and nurturing environment with modern multi-colored selectable lighting and an acoustically neutral footprint. The space is acoustically tuned for making great musical decisions as well as teaching students in an accurate sonic environment. It is designed to be user-friendly and is available for rent starting at $40 per hour for general recording; Candiloro is available for hire and to consult on recording projects for an additional fee.

~ Tahoe Truckee School of Music

From Stray Dog to Hero: Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe


The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe (HSTT) has seen a lot of success stories over the years. But the story of Greta, the stray who became a hero, is something straight out of Hollywood. 

Greta’s journey began when she was brought to San Francisco Animal Care & Control as a stray. Her intense personality and need for a huge amount of mental and physical engagement caused her to decline quickly in the shelter environment. Not much is known about Greta’s past, but it was clear that her future was at risk. Fortunately, Greta’s life was forever changed after being transferred to HSTT.

Greta showed she was incredibly smart and exhibited a “high drive.” That type of hyper-focused drive can be challenging in a home without an experienced trainer, but can be perfectly suited for doing a job. So the HSTT team commenced a job search for Greta.

Liz Alstott, HSTT Foster and shelter volunteer manager suspected Greta had what it takes to become a search and rescue dog. HSTT had previously worked with the Search Dog Foundation (SDF), a nonprofit that recruits and trains rescue dogs to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. After successfully passing the audition, she was invited to the SDF campus in Santa Paula, California. This was a critical invitation because dogs who make it to this point receive lifetime care and a job placement or a suitable home.

At the SDF campus, Greta’s abilities were put to the test through rigorous training and assessment processes. This marked the beginning of her intensive eight to 10 months of training in the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) program.

On July 3, an update came through from Katie Brennan, SDF’s canine recruitment outreach manager, “Greta has moved up to the sophomore class and started searching on rubble. She moved quickly through the freshman barrel field progression and loves to hunt and tug with her victim. She can get distracted easily, so her training has emphasized building engagement and focus duration as she learns her obedience elements. She also recently joined our playgroups for the first time and loves playing with the other dogs.”

~  HSTT press release

Good Morning Truckee: Media Panel Discussion at New Time


Good Morning Truckee has a new start time! Join the Truckee Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023, for Good Morning Truckee with a media panel discussion starting at 8 a.m. Doors open at 7:45 a.m. The program will end at 9:15 a.m.

In August, Good Morning Truckee is focusing on media and how important the industry is as a whole to our businesses and community. Attendees will enjoy an informative panel discussion with Katie Shaffer from East River PR, Laura Partridge with CC Media, Rory O’Farrell of Tahoe Truckee Media, JD Hoss with KTKE 101.5 Radio, Rob Galloway from Sierra Sun, and Mayumi Peacock with Moonshine Ink. The panel will discuss the importance of media, where the industry is heading, challenges and successes in their field, and ways that businesses and the community can engage with our local media outlets. Attendees are encouraged to come with their own questions for the panelists. 

Good Morning Truckee is offered in-person and is recorded for viewing at a later date. The event is held at Truckee Town Hall upstairs in the council chamber, at 10183 Truckee Airport Rd. Attendance is $10 for Truckee Chamber members and $12 for future members. 

Good Morning Truckee is a community forum to provide timely, relevant information on various topics. It is open to the public — everyone is invited. For more information about Good Morning Truckee visit

~ Truckee Chamber press release

Business Briefs

Pyrologix and Vibrant Planet Joining Forces


Vibrant Planet and Pyrologix are uniting their respective strengths to offer integrated wildfire analytics and decision support solutions, providing more tools to accelerate the speed and scale of community and wildland resilience. 

Pyrologix brings expertise in fuel mapping, wildfire hazard assessment, exposure and risk analysis, and fuel treatment analysis.

Vibrant Planet harnesses the best science and technology to accelerate complex decision-making for wildland resilience and strategically deploying limited resources to avoid the most potential loss and unlock the most ecosystem services benefit.

The union provides a consolidated set of services and tools to help increase the pace and scale of restoration and resilience-building by fire districts, NGOs, utilities, and local, state, and federal agencies.

Together, they anticipate to safeguard thousands of lives, homes, communities, and trillions in ecosystem services. 

~ Vibrant Planet enews


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