Public Land Exchanges
Land Exchange with State Parks
The Dollar Property and Rubicon exchange is part of a larger comprehensive effort to consolidate ownerships in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Many of these Conservancy properties were originally acquired with the purpose of transferring them to State Parks.
The 2012/13 California Budget Act, Stats 2012, Section 21 (the Budget Act), contains language directing the California Natural Resources Agency, in coordination with California Tahoe Conservancy (Conservancy) and California State Parks (State Parks), to execute an agreement to consolidate and exchange state lands and to share personnel, facilities and other resources to more effectively manage state-owned lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Other Conservancy properties including the California side of Van Sickle Bi-State Park, and particular parcels adjacent to Washoe Meadows State Park and Emerald Bay State Park will be transferred to State Parks at a future date.
Lake Tahoe Restoration Act
Both the House and Senate versions of the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act of 2015 (H.R. 3382 and S. 1724), pending ratification by Congress, contain language authorizing a land exchange between the U.S. Forest Service, California Tahoe Conservancy, and California State Parks to consolidate their extensive, intermixed land holdings in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
The proposed exchange would maximize the management efficiencies of both agencies. It would consolidate management of most urban lots on the California side of Lake Tahoe under the Conservancy, providing economies of scale for the Conservancy in building a program to maintain and improve forest health and fuels management, watershed restoration and recreation and public access opportunities on these parcels over the long-term.
Almost all of the National Forest System lands to be transferred were acquired under the Santini-Burton Act, which stipulates that while these lands may be transferred to state or local governments, they must be deed restricted for conservation and public recreation purposes. This requires the Conservancy to maintain existing uses and protections for those lots.
The Forest Service would focus its management on larger, general forest parcels and eliminate its costly urban lots management program on the California side of the Lake. The exchange would eliminate a number of Conservancy inholdings surrounded by National Forest System lands, allowing the Forest Service to integrate those parcels seamlessly into its land management plan and better meet its environmental and recreation goals in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
The Conservancy and Forest Service held joint public workshops to solicit input on the proposed exchange on September 9th and 10th, 2015 in South Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City, respectively.
If you have any questions about the proposed exchange please contact Chris Mertens, Chris.Mertens@tahoe.ca.gov or (530) 543-6057.