About Us

Our Mission

To preserve and protect scenic, historic and recreational lands with high natural resource values in the greater Truckee Donner region and manage recreational activities on these lands in a sustainable manner.

Board of Directors
Staff

Our Strategy

The Land Trust works with landowners, federal, state and local governments, and the public at large, to create win-win situations for private and public interests. We carry out our mission by negotiating land acquisitions, easements and land exchanges.

Our conservation strategy is three pronged. We work to protect:

1. Critical open spaces and greenbelts in the greater Truckee Donner region.
2. Natural areas that aren't yet threatened by imminent development and therefore are more affordable.
3. Large open spaces that are threatened by immediate development and therefore expensive, but also of great value to the community.

Our History

In 1990, the beautiful Coldstream Valley near Donner Lake was about to be lost to logging. A small group of passionate hikers founded the Truckee Donner Land Trust and raised $150,000 to purchase 160 acres in the valley.

In 1995, the Land Trust entered into negotiations for Schallenberger Ridge, Emigrant Canyon, Summit Canyon, Lakeview Canyon and Coldstream canyon, all as part of an envisioned Donner Memorial State Park Expansion - learn more here.

Over the years, the Land Trust has also preserved open space in and near Truckee, placing conservation easements and purchasing open space in strategic locations to ensure the character and quality of life Truckee is known for. More information on these efforts here.

Working with partnering organizations, the Land Trust has also worked to preserve the Truckee River Canyon east of Truckee toward the Nevada border. See what we've done on the Truckee River here.

An ongoing priority for the Land Trust has been to "close" the Sierra Nevada Checkerboard - a legacy land ownership pattern dating back to President Lincoln that cut the land into an every-other-square-mile ownership pattern. Learn about our work in the Sierra Nevada Checkerboard here.

The unique and prized open space of the Martis Valley has been subject to pressure from development over the years. From the Waddle Ranch preserve in 2007 to Hopkins Ranch in 2013, the Land Trust has preserved this scenic corridor along Highway 267. Find out more here.

The dramatic granite cliffs and verdant meadows of Donner Summit have also been protected by the Truckee Donner Land Trust. Read all about the historic wins of Royal Gorge, Black Wall and more here.

In 2017, the Land Trust and its partners acquired Lower Carpenter Valley, a pristine mountain meadow with rare species and delicate habitats. Hailed as the "secret garden of the Sierra," this is a truly special property that the Land Trust continues to work to protect and carefully steward. Learn about this incredible place here.

Over the years, The Truckee Donner Land Trust has protected more than 35,000 acres, ensuring continued recreational access and protecting lands for future generations. We are determined to protect another 24,500 acres in the coming years with a value of more than $40 million.

Today, the mountains, canyons, meadows, lakes and rivers that make the Truckee Donner region a great place to live, work, and play continues to face threats from unwise growth and development spilling over onto our treasured natural areas.

With support from our neighbors, donors, and partners, we can protect what we love today to enjoy forever.

 

Our Work

The Land Trust's work doesn't stop once open space is protected - stewardship and public access become ongoing efforts to ensure the property is protected and available to the public for generations to come. From managing forests to improve health and increase fire resiliency, to constructing benches, kiosks and building trails - our work is never done. We can't do it without the support of volunteers, either. Click here for our trailbuilding dates. Or, if you're ready to get out and experience some of our open space for yourself, head over to the Plan Your Visit section of our website for trails, maps and other ways to get out and enjoy.

Our Finances

We strive to keep our operating expenses as low as possible and our penny-pinching Executive Director is good at it. As a result, we are able to maintain expenses at less than 9 percent of the dollar value of the land preserved by our work.