Royal Gorge-Big changes afoot!   Leave a comment

ImageSo in case you haven’t heard. The big news for folks on Donner Summit, and perhaps for the region as a whole, is that the Truckee Donner Land Trust and several other organizations are in escrow to purchase the 3000 acres where Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski Area is located. It is not quite a done deal yet, because they have to come up with a fairly sizeable chunk of money to make this happen by mid-December, but if it does, it could have a number of big impacts on the area:

-The proposal to build over 1000 units on Donner Summit, as well as additional commercial development, and ski lifts is kaput. The land will not be developed.

-A major priority for the Truckee Donner Land Trust is to open up land that was previously posted with “No Trespassing” signs, and make it open to public access. TDLT plans on producing a trail use plan for the 3000 acres which will create an extensive new network of hiking and biking trails providing access to mountain lakes, spectacular rocky canyons and the Royal Gorge itself. Public input for this plan will be requested. The new network will not only be a major new recreational attraction for the Donner Summit area, but hopefully it will reduce the burden on the overused Pacific Crest Trail-Mt. Judah Loop trail network.

-Sugar Bowl Ski Area is in negotiations with the purchasers to operate the Royal Gorge Ski Area. With their expertise and existing equipment it is hoped they could get up and running, even with a tight time frame, this winter. Sugar Bowl is also committed to enhancing the ski area, including perhaps upgrading the facilities.

Want to help? You can contact the Truckee Donner Land Trust at http://www.tdlandtrust.org http://www.tdlandtrust.org or the Northern Sierra Partnership at www.northernsierrapartnership.org for more information or to contribute to the fund to purchase the property.

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