Tahoe Donner Expands Defensible Space and Trails Network with Land Purchase

Tahoe Donner just got a little bigger. The association has purchased an undeveloped 160 acre parcel of land from the Truckee Donner Public Utility District (TDPUD) for defensible space fire protection and recreation. The McGlashan Springs property is located on the southern side of Tahoe Donner.

The sale price was $775,000 and the transaction included restrictions on residential development rights. Board president Ron Wulff believes that the property will greatly benefit members both for recreational purposes and for further protecting homes from the threat of wild fires.

“We have a world-class forestry management team here at Tahoe Donner to maintain the property,” Wulff said. “This property will also allow the expansion of the existing 35 miles of recreational trails throughout Tahoe Donner, and may even provide a connection to the Donner Rim Trail.”

The purchase fits Tahoe Donner’s 2030 General Plan objective for ongoing land purchases “for the purposes of fire security, recreation or development protection.” It also follows the association’s acquisition last spring of an adjacent 240 acre property known as the Bucknam Tract. That purchase was made in partnership with the Town of Truckee and the Truckee Donner Land Trust, protecting a unique gateway area for open space.

Beyond the immediate opportunity for Tahoe Donner members to enjoy the McGlashan Springs property for hiking and biking, the area could be used in the future for an additional recreational facility. There are no specific plans to do so at this time.

Tahoe Donner Forester Bill Houdyschell expects to get his crews on the property to clean it up very soon. “In 1994, the Armstrong Fire burned into the property, destroying 10 acres of conifer forest,” Houdyschell remembers. “In 1996, Truckee Donner Public Utility District hired a company to construct a road system, thin and clean up the forest on the property. As a result, the forested condition of the property is healthy but due to mini-drought cycles over the past 15 years there is defensible space work that needs to be completed along the ridge south of Skislope Way, due to beetle attacks.”