SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif., Jan. 13, 2022 – The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is pleased to announce the acquisition of a sizable parcel of undeveloped land in the southeast portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin known as the Cold Creek purchase. Funding for the purchase came from the Bureau of Land Management under the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, which provides federal funds from land sales in southern Nevada. The acquisition, located in the upper Cold Creek watershed, includes three parcels for a total of 487.5 acres that will be added to the National Forest System (NFS) of lands within the LTBMU for conservation and public enjoyment.

“This acquisition accomplishes our goal of preserving and protecting the entire upper Cold Creek watershed from development,” said LTBMU Forest Supervisor, Erick Walker. “Our land acquisition program plays a major role in protecting Lake Tahoe. To put the successful program in perspective, of the approximately 155,000 acres now managed by the Forest Service in the Tahoe Basin, only 30,000 acres were originally public land.”

These parcels were the last remaining inholdings of what was once 2,276 acres of privately owned land known as the High Meadows property. In 2003, the Forest Service purchased 1,789 of the acres from the Trimmer/Giovancchini families. This latest purchase complements the original High Meadows acquisition and brings the entire High Meadows area under Forest Service management.

The High Meadows property was originally established by the Trimmer Family in 1929, when cattle were still driven from the Carson Valley over the Carson Range to the family ranch for summer grazing. In addition to grazing, the property was logged commercially for timber over several years. In 2015, the family descendants retired from their commercial Christmas tree farm that was on the Cold Creek property and made the decision to sell the remaining parcels to the Forest Service.  

“I would like to thank the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region Land Adjustment Team including, Mike Haskell, regional case manager for this purchase, Kathy Valenzuela, Kevin Waldron, Rob Schott and the entire appraisal and survey staff, for their hard work and perseverance in helping to complete this important acquisition,” said LTBMU Lands Program Manager, Bob Rodman. “In addition, I especially want to thank the family for the opportunity to acquire this cherished property.”

The High Meadows and Cold Creek properties were acquired under the authority of the Santini-Burton Act that directs the LTBMU to acquire environmentally sensitive lands around Lake Tahoe to safeguard them from potential development to protect the lake’s water quality. The Cold Creek property was one of the few remaining large parcels in the Tahoe Basin suitable for acquisition by the Forest Service. Other recent Forest Service acquisitions include 75 acres of lakefront property at Fallen Leaf Lake and a 40-acre inholding above Cave Rock.