November 2023 Conservancy Newsletter

Upper Truckee River

November 2023 Conservancy Newsletter

This month we share videos about forest management on Conservancy and partner lands, a farewell to our seasonal field crews, the latest installment of our Meet the Conservancy video series, a look at the freshly painted 1860s-era barn at Van Sickle Bi-State Park, and more.

Jason Vasques, Executive Director
California Tahoe Conservancy

How Open Space Helps Firefighters Protect Homes

The Conservancy manages 4,700 state properties in the California side of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Most are small open space lots scattered in residential neighborhoods. Produced with our partners in the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team, this new video shows how Conservancy forest management improves forest and wildlife resilience, including providing safe space for firefighters to operate and protect neighborhood homes in the event of a wildfire.

Farewells to Field Crews

Forestry crew

The Conservancy thanks its seasonal staff and field crews for another safe and productive season. Field season is always short at Lake Tahoe, and this year crews had to jump into action to address impacts to Conservancy lands after the region endured historic snowfall and severe winter storms. Highlights from their busy year include completing: 

  • Ten restoration projects
  • 180 land management projects
  • 110 community forestry projects
Forestry Crew
A crew member working on Conservancy land.

Helping Placer County Reduce Wildfire Risk on County Lands

Placer County has made great progress in its first year of work to reduce wildfire risk on approximately 78 acres of county property within the Basin, supported by a grant from the Conservancy. Watch the County’s video to learn more about work underway on County parcels, stretching from Kings Beach to Tahoma.

Remediating Lead Paint at Van Sickle Barn

Barn at Van Sickle Bi-State Park

The Conservancy completed remediating lead paint on the historic barn at Van Sickle Bi-State Park. In partnership with the California Department of General Services, we removed hazards associated with lead-containing paint on the barn, while maintaining the 1860s-era barn’s historical integrity.

The Conservancy co-manages the 725-acre Van Sickle Bi-State Park with Nevada State Parks. The park offers hiking trails and picnic areas, along with the historic Van Sickle ranch barn and cabins. Park entrance roads and facilities closed for the winter on November 13, but park grounds remain open year-round to people arriving on foot or by bicycle.

The Significance of Tahoe’s Scarce Wetlands

New wetlands at the Upper Truckee Marsh.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune recently caught up with Stuart Roll, the Conservancy’s Watershed Program Supervisor, to talk about wetlands, watershed, climate change, and more. Read the Tribune article to learn the outsized role that marshes and meadows play in the environment and ecology of the Basin.

Meet the Conservancy, Vol. 5

Next up in our video series in which we periodically highlight a Conservancy employee: Kevin Prior, Director of the Conservancy’s Land Division. Kevin oversees the Conservancy’s Land Management, Recreation and Public Access, and Tahoe Livable Communities programs.

Upcoming California Tahoe Conservancy Board Meetings

The Board will meet on December 14, 2023. An agenda will be available on the Conservancy website ten days prior to the meeting.

Plates For Powder Returns

Plates For Powder Returns

Ski For Free at a Tahoe Area Resort When You Buy a Tahoe License Plate

The Tahoe Fund has launched Plates for Powder, the annual program that offers free skiing opportunities to those who purchase a Lake Tahoe license plate. Proceeds from California Tahoe plate sales and renewals support the Conservancy’s work.

Learn how to purchase your plate and redeem your free lift ticket by visiting