Royal Gorge, the nation’s largest cross country ski area, has been saved! Protected from development and preserved for the enjoyment of future generations, this tremendous conservation effort was spearheaded by the Truckee Donner Land Trust and The Trust for Public Land as part of the Northern Sierra Partnership.
In just five short months, $11.26 million was raised, meeting the December 20th deadline for the purchase. More than 1,000 people donated to the campaign. In addition to public funds raised by the Nature Conservancy, Sierra Watch and other conservation groups, a huge amount of private donations came from Sugar Bowl and Serene Lakes residents as well as other private donors.
The Truckee Donner Land Trust will own this land located on Donner Summit and will lease it in the winter to Sugar Bowl for management. In addition to 2,829 acres of Royal Gorge and the Royal Gorge Nordic Center and 355 acres above Donner Lake, the acquisition includes an area from Sugar Bowl, around Lake Van Norden and Van Norden Meadow, to the bottom Serene Lakes with part of the shoreline, across the crest of the Sierras down to the upper portion of the North Fork of the American River Canyon.
Royal Gorge is a truly unique property, embedded with great historical significance, offering world class recreation opportunities, an abundance of wildlife and a diversity of natural resources. The preservation of Royal Gorge proves that working together, conservation efforts can succeed.