In partnership with The Nature Conservancy, we acquired 3,200 acres in the Truckee River Canyon, from Floriston to Stateline, including 100 acres of river frontage in conservation easement in 2006. The Land Trust completed acquisitions of over 1,350 acres of riparian corridor within Gray Creek Canyon, a major tributary to the Truckee River, in 2005. This project, supported by The Nature Conservancy and the Truckee River Watershed Council and endorsed by environmental organizations including the Sierra Club, is a top conservation priority because of the area's outstanding biological value and growth threat.
The river is home to several species of wildlife, including the endangered Lahontan cutthroat trout, the Yellow warbler and Yellow billed cuckoo. The river also provides habitat for native and declining amphibians including the Mountain yellow-legged frog and the Leopard frog. Acquisitions provide improved access to recreational opportunities such as hiking and horseback riding in the river's surrounding canyons. Rebuilding the long-established trail into the Mt. Rose Wilderness Area that was washed out in the 1997 floods would provide an integrated linkage to the Tahoe Rim Trail as well as planned trails in the Truckee River Corridor.
Acquisitions in Gray Creek drainage comprise a rugged and remote area along the northwest boundary of the Mt. Rose Wilderness Area. The project provides contiguous public ownership in the area, improving fire management and restoration and adding over 1,300 acres of dramatic and sensitive wild lands to public ownership. Gray Creek is one of the most dramatic drainages in the I-80 corridor viewshed. Erosion-prone, steep drainage with soils that are extremely sensitive and naturally unstable, the area is one of the largest sediment producing drainages in the Truckee River system. Protecting the Gray Creek watershed from future development and commercial logging pressure helps lessen erosion and maintain water clarity.