News Briefs

Determining Business Interest to Provide RV/Trailer Delivery for Campground Reservations


The Tahoe National Forest is soliciting interest to pilot a new business opportunity within reservable developed campgrounds across the forest, specifically rental and on-site delivery of camping equipment such as tents, recreational vehicles (RVs), and camping trailers. 


This business opportunity is intended to improve the visitor experience by providing access to temporary rental of RVs and similar equipment that visitors may not own or have experience using or towing. The campgrounds will continue to be operated and maintained by the forest service. Campground visitors do not currently have access to this type of service and must either personally own or borrow equipment or rent it offsite and haul it to their reserved campsite.

For the 2022 operating season, the scope of this solicitation is limited to reservable campgrounds operated by the TNF listed on See for a list of campgrounds available for consideration under this solicitation. For more information on each campground, campsites, and allowable equipment, please visit the specific page for that campground (links available at

If business interest exists, the TNF may initially issue one or more temporary special use authorizations under the Federal Land Recreation Enhancement Act either on a per district or Forest-wide basis. A trial period will enable the TNF and businesses to determine the feasibility of a long-term program. Distribution and allocation of permitted use will be dependent on available capacity and level of interest.

To facilitate operations as early as the 2022 camping season, proposals must be received by April 15. For specific questions, contact Hillary Santana, recreation, lands, and heritage staff officer at or at (970) 987-7140.

Submit completed proposals to the following:

Hillary Santana
Recreation, Lands, and Heritage Staff Officer
631 Coyote St.
Nevada City, CA 95959

Or via email to

~ TNF press release

Removal of the Word Squaw From All County-Maintained Roads


The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted at the end of February to rename the three county-maintained roads that contained the word “squaw” to alternative names. 

Squaw Valley Road was renamed Olympic Valley Road, Squaw Peak Road was renamed Shirley Canyon Road, and Squaw Peak Way was renamed Marmot Way.

The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California has been in continued discussions with Placer County staff to rename county assets, which were advanced following the announcement by Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski resort of its name change to Palisades Tahoe in September 2021. In November 2021, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, declared the word “squaw” a derogatory term and ordered the removal of this term from federal lands.

A second phase of the road renaming process will bring forward recommended road name changes for three private roads in the county.

The process to rename the county’s Squaw Valley Park is ongoing and a recommendation for a new name will be brought to the board of supervisors in the future.

The Placer County road naming policy allows the county to rename a road when it is deemed in the public interest to do so. It also states that inappropriate or offensive names will not be permitted.

Residents can learn more about the renaming process here

~ Placer County press release

CALLING ALL ARTISTS: Nevada County Arts Council just launched an artist directory, highlighting Nevada County as the premier arts destination for art buyers in the Sierra Nevada foothills and Truckee/Tahoe region. Pictured here is a piece by Kathy Triolo, a Nevada County artist whose work can be seen in more detail at Courtesy photo

Arts Council Announces New Artist Directory


Nevada County Arts Council has launched a brand new artist directory. 

“If you are a writer, visual artist, sculptor, designer, filmmaker, photographer, actor, musician, performer, or poet, join us,” said Eliza Tudor, the council’s executive director. “It’s easy to join and it’s free of charge.”

Nevada County Arts Council’s online artist directory is a professional directory open to all artists living or working in Nevada County. Unique in California as the only rural county home to two state-designated California cultural districts — Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District and Truckee Cultural District — the directory highlights Nevada County as the premier arts destination for art buyers in the Sierra Nevada foothills and Truckee/Tahoe region, and home to some of the best talent in Northern California.

To learn more about the new Nevada County Artist Directory, visit More about Nevada County Arts Council can be found at

~ Nevada County Arts Council press release

Majority of Tahoe Residents Agree on Biggest Threats to Quality of Life


Tahoe residents are unified in their concern that housing, traffic congestion, and other visitor impacts pose the biggest threats to the quality of life in the Tahoe Basin, and agree on which efforts should be given priority to maintain or improve quality of life for residents and workers. In the wake of the Caldor Fire, residents also rank wildfires and smoke as one of the most significant threats to the Tahoe region.

These findings are presented in the Envision Tahoe Community Report, the second report delivered to Tahoe leaders and community members through Envision Tahoe: Prosperity Plan 2.0, an initiative to guide Tahoe’s economic recovery from the pandemic, increase its resiliency to disruptions, and make Tahoe’s economy more sustainable and inclusive through diversification. Envision Tahoe is led by the Tahoe Prosperity Center, the regional community and economic development nonprofit for the Tahoe Basin.

“One of the imperatives for Envision Tahoe was extensive, inclusive engagement with Basin residents to understand their perspectives on our economic and community challenges and how we address them,” said Placer County Supervisor Cindy Gustafson, serving as a co-chair of the Envision Tahoe Catalyst Committee. “We now have input from hundreds of residents from diverse walks of life, including parents, young people, employers, workers, community leaders, and others. This feedback will help us link our economic strategies to the needs of our community members.”

The community report also presents new data from the 2020 U.S. Census that was not available when the Envision Tahoe baseline report was published last fall. This data shows that Tahoe median home prices have tripled in nine years, from $345,000 in 2012 to $950,000 in 2021, while the number of housing units has only increased by 1%. Compared to updated income data, there are zero homes presently listed for sale in Tahoe in a price range that is affordable to a person or couple earning a median wage of $53,000.

For more information about the report’s key findings, visit

~ TPC press release

Town Launches New Platform to Access Meeting Agendas and Minutes


The Town of Truckee has partnered with Municode to host a new platform to make access to town council and planning commission documents even easier. Members of the public will now be able to view agendas, packets, and minutes and downloadable PDF versions in one location:

In July 2021, the town experienced a cyberattack that caused staff to shut down the entire information technology system, causing a ripple effect into email and historical record access, permit response times, and more. Read Moonshine’s reporting on the matter here.

Council, commission, and committee records prior to January 2022 are available on the Laserfiche public portal. For any questions regarding Municode or public records, contact Judy Price, town clerk, at (530) 582-2924.

~ Town of Truckee press release, AH

DO IT FOR THE KIDS: Washoe County has seen a 33.3% decline in licensed child-care providers since 2013. Now, new child-care providers can receive one-time grant funds to reimburse start-up costs. Courtesy photo

Shortage of Child-Care Centers


Washoe County is facing a significant child care shortage. The number of licensed child care providers in the county has decreased by 33.3% since 2013.

Due to high demand, most child care providers/facilities have to put families on a waitlist, creating a barrier for parents wanting to enter or return to the workforce.

A recent study by the Nevada Early Childhood Council showed the current child care capacity for children under the age of 5 in Washoe County meets about 45% of the estimated need.

To encourage entrepreneurs to open new child-care centers, Washoe County Human Services Agency child-care licensing is actively seeking new home- and center-based child care providers that are interested in becoming licensed. Home child care-providers can be licensed to care for up to six children in their personal residence.

Brand new child-care providers may qualify for a one-time grant to reimburse start-up costs. Financial assistance is dependent upon eligibility and funding availability. Washoe County HSA child-care licensing staff members are available to guide interested parties through the licensure process, by phone at (775) 337-4470.

~ Washoe County press release

Placer Taking Another Look at Feasibility of Biomass Facility


The Placer County Board of Supervisors has authorized staff to restart the feasibility evaluation for a biomass-to-energy facility in North Lake Tahoe. A plan for the project was initially approved in 2013, however, Placer paused moving forward due to uncertainty surrounding the long-term economic feasibility. 

Biomass facilities create renewable energy by burning wood scraps left over from forest clearing and defensible space efforts, which then helps remove hazardous sources of fuel for wildfires. Certain biomass facilities can also create a byproduct called biochar used as fertilizer and in water filtration processes.

With the rise in defensible space and fuel reduction efforts seen in Placer since 2018, the county has been inundated with green waste materials at the Placer Eastern Regional Landfill materials recovery facility near Truckee. Currently, green waste is trucked long distances to biomass processing facilities in California and composting facilities in Nevada, adding to cost and environmental impacts.

The next steps for Placer staff will be to determine if the biomass facility is economically feasible. The county plans to apply for grants to cover capital costs of establishing the facility, including $2 million in funding from Cal Fire.

~ Placer County press release

TTUSD Updates Mask Mandate to Recommendation


On Feb. 28 — the first day back from Ski Skate Week — the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District announced an update to the mask guidance on their campuses and bus systems due to declining Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.

In keeping with the California Department of Public Health statewide recommendation, TTUSD is making indoor face coverings optional starting Monday, March 14, regardless of vaccination status. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also stated it no longer endorses masking in schools.

The decision comes nearly two years after TTUSD first announced a three-week closure and remote learning scheme on March 19, 2020.

“We take pride in being a safe place for everyone. For teachers, staff, students, and their families,” Kelli Twomey, district communications at TTUSD, said. Twomey continued to stress that mask guidance is transitioning from being a requirement to a personal choice. Still, the district emphasizes that the community be respectful of differing views while honoring one another’s masking choices.

The national, state, and local conversation around masking in schools has long been fraught with tension. At a Feb. 16 meeting of the TTUSD board of trustees — the last before the staff and students started the weeklong Ski Skate Week break — emotions were high with teachers both in favor and opposed to the mandate speaking out.

Yet, since the Feb. 28 announcement, Twomey said the district had not received any complaints, only a few questions about why the transition could not happen sooner. She points to the potential consequences the district could face for acting in opposition to the state’s recommendation. These consequences include exclusion from liability coverage and loss of credentials for educators and administrators.

TTUSD continues to provide cloth, surgical, and respirator masks across its campuses and requires students, teachers, and administrators to follow the required CDPH guidelines if they test positive for COVID-19.

“It’s all about keeping kids in school and learning in person,” Twomey said.

~ Ally Gravina, special to Moonshine Ink

Take This Community Engagement and Health Survey


The Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee requests resident participation in a confidential survey to measure local quality of life, community engagement, and behavioral health needs. The survey is open now until April 3, and the results will help local organizations develop programs to better address the health needs of our community members.

The survey can be found by following the links below or at CCTT is also partnering with the national research firm PRC to conduct 400 phone surveys in the region between March and April. Households will be selected at random, and the survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete.

As a follow up to the 2020 Community Engagement and Behavioral Health Survey, the information collected in this survey will be valuable data used to measure the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, identify any community health trends, and support the recently released Behavioral Health Roadmap. Take the survey at

~ TTCF press release

Adventure Risk Challenge to Connect Kids to The Outdoors


Designed to provide immersive outdoor and academic programs for youth who might not otherwise have the opportunity, Adventure Risk Challenge expeditions introduce high school students to the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains and to outdoor recreation experiences. From backpacking to rock climbing, ropes courses, and more, over the course of a month, students learn outdoor skills like backcountry cooking and navigating using a topographical map, and the value of teamwork, perseverance, and curiosity.

ARC is accepting applications until April 22 for 2022 summer programs scheduled to take place in Yosemite National Park and the Lake Tahoe Basin. All current California and Northern Nevada high school students are eligible to apply. These unique, scholarship-based programs are offered to students on a sliding scale based on family income, with many students paying just $1 per day for their participation.

Valued at $6,000 per participant, ARC course scholarships are made possible by the generous support of corporate and nonprofit sponsors, grant funding, and contributions from individual donors.

Learn more about ARC, donate to make it possible for a student to participate, or apply for a summer program at

~ ARC press release

A MAJOR AWARD: Joel Sharbrough, Ph.D., received a prestigious grant from the National Science Foundation. Sharbrough grew up in Tahoe City, and is on the faculty at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech). Courtesy photo

Tahoe City Native Receives National Science Foundation CAREER Award


A cutting-edge plant genomics research project underway at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is garnering national recognition for its potential to understand the diversity of life as well as to inspire early career scientists. The National Science Foundation recently awarded NMT evolutionary biology Assistant Professor Joel Sharbrough, Ph.D., a $1.2 million CAREER Award to lead the project over the next five years.

The project, titled “Genomic, cellular, and physiological effects of whole genome duplications on organismal energy production,” aims to:

  • Study evolutionary history of selected plant species, how they survive under stressful conditions, and the applicability of that knowledge gained to agriculture and food production.
  • Provide opportunities for NMT undergraduate and graduate students to gain credit for being involved in the lab-based research, as well as ventures into two high school classrooms to teach students about DNA sequencing, inspiring future scientific careers.

Sharbrough said his project’s goal of integrating education and real-world research is what excites him most about the work ahead over the next five years. He and his team plan to spend time in classrooms at both Socorro High School in Socorro, New Mexico, and at North Tahoe High School in his hometown of Tahoe City. Beginning summer 2022, a high school student will be hired as a paid intern to participate in plant genomics research on-site at NMT.

~ New Mexico Tech University press release

Supervisors Support Prop 47 Repeal, Oppose Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate in Schools


Placer County’s Board of Supervisors has voted to take positions on two pending pieces of state legislation: supporting a bill that could lead to the repeal of Proposition 47 and opposing Senate Bill 871, which would add the Covid-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for in-person school attendance for kindergarten through 12th grade. 

Approved by voters in 2014, Proposition 47 reduced certain theft and drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors and allowed broad changes to felony sentencing laws in California’s criminal justice system, reducing penalties for various drug and theft-related crimes.

Proposed Assembly Bill 1599 would replace the proposition language with the state code language prior to its passage, except for certain provisions related to the penalty for possession of concentrated cannabis. If approved and signed into law, the bill would require approval by the voters in the next statewide general election. 

The board voted unanimously to express support for AB 1599, now under consideration by the Assembly’s Committee on Public Safety. 

Introduced in January, SB 871 would add the Covid-19 vaccine to the other vaccinations required for in-person school attendance and eliminate the personal belief exemption for Covid-19 vaccination as well as any future disease immunizations as determined by the California Department of Public Health. 

Under California law, students are allowed to skip vaccines required for in-person attendance at K-12 schools after a doctor says it’s medically necessary to do so. However, since current law only applies to previously approved immunizations, the state must offer broader personal belief exemptions for all newly mandated vaccines unless lawmakers and the governor override that requirement.

“I do believe there are medical benefits to vaccines, but I believe it’s a personal choice,” said Board Chair and District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “As long as we can take protective measures ourselves against those who have chosen not to vaccinate, then I’m okay with opposing any state or federal mandate on this.”

~ Placer County press release

Moving In, Moving Up, Moving On

New Head of Cal Fire


Joe Tyler has been appointed to lead Cal Fire, California’s statewide fire agency which oversees an appropriated budget of $3.7 billion and more than 9,600 civilian and uniformed staff. Tyler succeeds Thomas Porter, who retired in December 2021.

Tyler is a 31-year veteran of Cal Fire and most recently served as the deputy director of fire protection, overseeing statewide fire protection operations and cooperative fire protection. He began his career with the agency in 1991, working in several counties and programs throughout California, and has an extensive background in executive level operations and programs. 

Prior to his appointment as deputy director, Tyler served as the assistant deputy director of fire protection with oversight of law enforcement/civil cost recovery, fire protection operations, aviation management, tactical air operations, and mobile equipment. He has also held managerial responsibility for training, safety, emergency medical services, local/state/federal programs, and hand crew programs. 

Tyler serves as the department representative on the California Wildland Coordinating Group, National Association of State Forester’s Wildland Fire Committee, and Western States Fire Managers. He also served on several statewide committees and cadres and was instrumental in the acquisition of a new fleet of helicopters and C-130 air tankers. He is a qualified agency administrator and incident commander – type 1. He was a member of Cal Fire incident management teams from 2005 through 2014, last holding the position of deputy incident commander on Cal Fire Incident Management Team 3. 

~ Cal Fire press release

Business Briefs

Mountain Freak Boutique Opens Screenprinting in Pioneer Center


Mountain Freak Boutique has added another retail location (next to Full Belly Deli) that is now offering screenprinting, embroidery, and promotional items for Truckee and the North Lake Tahoe Community. Owners Allison and Brian Holiday opened their original boutique in downtown Truckee (above Pianeta’s) five years ago. Their eclectic shop specializes in colorful, funky, mountain-culture, and music-inspired apparel, hats, stickers, and more. Their shops also feature many local artisans’ wares, including jewelry, pottery, art, metal work, tie dyes, festival wear, and original T-shirt designs.

The Holidays’ many original T-shirt designs spurred them to begin screenprinting for themselves out of their home. Outgrowing their small home shop, they have now expanded into a larger industrial space in Pioneer Center. Services at the new location include screenprinting T-shirts, hoodies, tanks, and many other garments, plus embroidered and promotional items such as hats, stickers, glassware, and more.

“We can put your design or logo on almost anything,” co-owner Allison Holiday explained in an email exchange with the Ink. Brian Holiday added, “Our mission is to make your event, team, brand, or business look great.”

The new screenprinting location is at 10825 Pioneer Trail, Ste. 102, and is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment. Call, text, email, or stop in with any questions or to get a quote on your project: (530) 562-7204;;

~ Brian and Allison Holiday, special to Moonshine Ink

Lost Sierra Hoedown is No More


On March 1, Drew Fisher and Azariah Reynolds, co-founders of Lost Sierra Hoedown — a music festival promoting land stewardship, announced the event would not return this year.

While a reason wasn’t clearly stated for the festival’s retirement, Fisher and Reynolds did share in a statement that they’ve “got plans to let the music back in again” and the Hoedown “community isn’t going anywhere.”

The Plumas Ski Club, Sierra Nevada University, and California State Parks were all thanked by name, as well as all attendees, volunteers, and artists who’ve contributed to the event.

“The Hoedown has been a pure labor of love,” the statement continued. “We cherish the support we’ve received from the local community, as well as new visitors to the Lost Sierra who became stewards and advocates for the land.”

~ Lost Sierra Hoedown website

Alterra Announces Largest Single-Year Investment for Capital Improvements


Alterra Mountain Company has announced its plans to invest $344 million in capital improvements for winter 2022/23, reaching over $1 billion invested in transformational changes over the past five years. This reaffirms the company’s dedication to enhance the guest experience at its 15 North American destinations and almost doubles the original financial commitment of $555 million over five years announced when the company was formed in 2018.

This year’s $344 million plan includes $237 million in large-scale resort development, including $93 million in increased capacity and terrain expansion, $91 million in skier services upgrades, and $16 million in guest experience technology to improve the booking and on-site experience. The largest focus of the annual investment will support five major destinations, including the continuation of major developments at Palisades Tahoe in California.

The $65 million base-to-base gondola at Palisades Tahoe will be completed for the 22/23 winter season. The gondola will connect the two mountains of the resort for the first time, giving skiers and riders a brand-new way to access a combined 6,000 acres of storied terrain. Palisades Tahoe will become the third-largest ski area in North America. The 16-minute gondola ride will take skiers and riders between two base areas, The Village at Palisades Tahoe and Alpine Lodge, reducing road congestion in the region and making it easier to enjoy both mountains in a single day. It is the first gondola of its kind in North America, with four terminals connecting two base areas via a climb of nearly 2,000 vertical feet, offering panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada.

Also under the Alterra umbrella, three new destinations have been added to the Ikon Pass community: Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley in France, Sun Valley in Idaho, and Snowbasin in Utah. The pass went on sale for the 22/23 season on March 10.

~ Alterra press releases


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