1. Truckee Thursdays Are Back for a Condensed Summer Schedule

The Town of Truckee is continuing the current “suspension of certain regulations of outdoor business activities” through Sept. 30 “in support of Truckee’s business community,” it wrote in a newsletter; in keeping with this limit on Covid restrictions outdoors came the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association’s June 4 announcement that Truckee Thursdays are back on this summer.

THEY’RE BAA-AACK: Amid a “suspension of certain regulations of outdoor business activities” that Truckee said will continue at least through Sept. 30, the town and the TDMA announced that the weekly outdoor food, music, and artisan retail summer festival, Truckee Thursdays, is back on with a condensed schedule. Photo courtesy Town of Truckee

“As California and our community cautiously reopen, TDMA, our local businesses, community, and visitors will celebrate three Thursdays in downtown Truckee: July 15, August 12, and Sept. 9,” according to the town’s newsletter.


    While the TDMA is excited for what the return of this once-weekly food, music, business, and arts festival means for the local business community, “we also recognize this will be the first large-scale public event many of us will have attended since Covid began,” the organization stated in its own press release. “Our decision to condense Truckee Thursdays incorporates excitement, discretion, and a commitment to ultimately returning to an 11-event schedule in 2022.”

~ Town of Truckee newsletter, TDMA press release

2. Four Leading Resort Companies Tackle Climate Issues

Alterra Mountain Company, Boyne Resorts, POWDR, and Vail Resorts introduced the Climate Collaborative Charter on June 10, the ski industry’s first unified effort to combat climate change with shared commitments around sustainability and advocacy.

The four ski industry leaders have agreed to operate their respective resorts with sustainability at the forefront and use their collective voice to advocate for effective public policy on climate action in order to leave a positive legacy for future generations of skiers, snowboarders, and outdoor enthusiasts. This will translate to further implementation of sustainable practices, including elements from NSAA’s Sustainable Slopes platform, across the combined 71 North American resorts represented by the four companies. Alongside our local Northstar California (Vail) and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (Alterra). Resorts under these umbrellas include Steamboat, Mammoth Mountain, Deer Valley Resort, Vail Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb, Park City Mountain, Big Sky Resort, Snowbird, Mt. Bachelor, and Killington.

As business leaders, the resort companies committed to this set of pledges:

• Reduce energy use wherever possible and aggressively pursue renewable energy sources to be carbon neutral

• Climate action and advocacy for effective public policy to accelerate the shift to a renewable energy economy

• Strong efforts and goals to reduce waste

• Be responsible stewards of the environment (the land, forests, watersheds, and habitats) within which the resorts operate 

• Share best practices to accelerate change in their respective companies and communities

• Support the National Ski Areas Association’s Sustainable Slopes platform

    And as stewards of the environment, the resort companies pledge to:

• Incorporate sustainability into all aspects of their owned and operated mountain resorts

• Lead by example and educate employees and guests about sustainability

• Place collaboration over competition when it comes to sustainability

• Advocate for climate protection

“It is through bold environmental commitments and ongoing collaboration that we will have the most impact on protecting and preserving the great outdoors,” said Kate Wilson, senior director of sustainability at Vail Resorts. “We announced Commitment to Zero in 2017, our goal to achieve a zero net operating footprint by 2030 across all our 37 resorts, and we are proud to have already made substantial progress toward that goal. Now, through the Climate Collaborative Charter, we look forward to partnering with these passionate leaders, and the entire industry, to leverage our progress and support many others on the same journey.”

The coalition also “humbly and urgently ask” that all mountain resorts commit to take similar action, and is working to broaden engagement from employees, guests, and community members, taking care to be inclusive of voices and perspectives from all backgrounds. 

Find the full charter pledge at alterramtnco.com/assets/Climate-Charter-Pledge.pdf.

~ Alterra, Boyne, POWDR, Vail joint press release

3. Visit Truckee-Tahoe Launches “Sustainable Truckee” Initiative

Visit Truckee-Tahoe announced June 24 it has launched “Sustainable Truckee,” an initiative with three pilot programs already underway that address the challenges of high use peak period visitation impacts in Truckee, Donner Summit, and nearby unincorporated Nevada County areas. The initiative brings together local agencies, districts, government, and nonprofits in order to collaborate on program development and execution. 

Objectives of the initiative include responsible visitor and resident behavior through wildfire danger education, trash prevention measures, and other public safety messaging including responsible recreation training.

After its formation in March 2020, the Visit Truckee-Tahoe Stewardship Committee created the Sustainable Truckee initiative, then quickly prioritized summer stewardship programs with $30,000 in funding. Additional funding of $25K for three programs was committed by local and regional partners: Truckee Fire Protection District, Nevada County, Truckee Donner Land Trust, Truckee Tahoe Airport District, and Town of Truckee. In addition, the USFS incorporated stationed trail hosts into their trailhead work plan for Sawtooth/06.

~ Visit Truckee-Tahoe press release

Moving In, Moving Up, Moving On

1. Sagehen Creek Field Station Announces New Station Manager

Dr. Ash Zemenick (they/them) is the new station manager for UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station as of July 1, 2021. Zemenick’s ecological and environmental interests span the study of plants, insects, microbes, ecological networks, natural history, and discipline-based education research. They completed their PhD in ecology at UC Davis in 2017 where they studied how plant-flower visitor interaction networks shape floral microbial communities. During their undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Zemenick studied complex interactions between ants, hemipterans, and fungi in coffee agroecosystems. 

Zemenick was a postdoctoral researcher at Auburn University where they researched the importance of diversifying and humanizing scientist role models on student outcomes. As part of their concurrent postdoc at Michigan State University, they were the co-creator and director of Project Biodiversify (projectbiodiversify.org), a repository of teaching materials and methods to diversify, humanize, and increase inclusivity in biology classrooms. They were also the manager of the Miridae Mobile Plant Nursery, which is dedicated to increasing availability, knowledge, and enthusiasm about incorporating native plants into residential landscapes. 

Sagehen has been a prominent part of Zemenick’s research and studies over the past decade, so they are excited to return to Sagehen as station manager to foster an equitable, supportive, and inclusive community in which the research, education, outreach, and art programs at the station can continue to thrive. 

~ Robert Rhew/Central Sierra Field Stations update

2. Nevada County Community Development Agency Director Appointed Internally

THE DIRECTOR: On June 27, Trisha Tillotson moved up from service as Nevada County’s public works director to become the county community development agency director. Photo courtesy Nevada County

Nevada County’s former public works director, Trisha Tillotson, has now been appointed as community development agency director for the county. CDA includes Nevada County’s agricultural commissioner, building, environmental health, planning, and public works departments.

Tillotson has a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from California State University, Chico and is a professional engineer. She more recently became a credentialed California county senior executive. Before coming to Nevada County, Tillotson worked for the City of Grass Valley public works department for over 12 years. Her experience also includes working for a private engineering firm for one year and over two years with Caltrans.

~ Nevada County press release

3. Ron Cohen Returns to Mammoth

On June 11, Alterra Mountain Company announced that Ron Cohen, then-president and chief operating officer of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, will return to Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain as the destinations’ president and COO, effective immediately. Both resorts are owned by Alterra, and Mammoth Mountain is the company’s largest and most visited destination. Cohen, who served in various positions including leadership at Mammoth Mountain prior to his former role as Alterra Mountain Company’s deputy general counsel followed by his role at Squaw Alpine, “will be responsible for overseeing operations at Mammoth and June Mountains and for leading the significant developments planned for Mammoth Mountain, which will take the destination into its next phase and solidify it as a premier global destination,” according to an Alterra press release.

Cohen graduated from UC Santa Barbara and received his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law, and in 1999 followed his passion for the mountains to Mammoth Lakes, where he practiced law for three years. From 2002-2010, he owned and operated Tioga Pass Resort high in the Sierra Nevade near Yosemite National Park, overseeing hotel, restaurant, and backcountry ski operations. Cohen joined the Mammoth Mountain team in 2010 as director of government and environment and expanded his role to chief administrative officer and general counsel. Alterra Mountain Company was formed in 2017 with Cohen promoted to part of its legal team, and in 2018 he started his Squaw Alpine stint. 

“Ron spearheaded key transformation initiatives at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows that led to record achievements in guest satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and financial performance,” the release states. Currently, Cohen will report to Mark Brownlie, chief operating officer — mountain division and western region chief operating officer. During his transition, Ron will be actively involved with all day-to-day operations of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows including the base-to-base gondola project, destination renaming and rebrzanding efforts, and the hiring process for its new president and COO.

~ Alterra press release


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