AUBURN, Calif. July 28, 2020 – Addressing health and safety concerns resulting from a recent increase in activity along the Truckee River, the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to temporarily extend an alcohol ban on the Truckee River until Oct. 15. 

The ban is in effect immediately.

State law authorizes the board to impose an alcohol ban on the Truckee River between Fanny Bridge and the River Ranch during “designated holiday periods.” The existing alcohol ban will continue with the temporary amendment, currently enforceable by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

Outdoor activity is permitted in the state’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order, and recreation on the Truckee River has increased since Memorial Day weekend. The commercial rafting businesses have voluntarily reduced boat capacity by 50%to address COVID-19 concerns; however, the number of private rafters has significantly increased in recent weeks. 

This increase has resulted in several concerns within the North Lake Tahoe community including alcohol-fueled misconduct, trash and potential environmental degradation of the river, as well as increased exposure to COVID-19.

“We are committed to ensuring people are recreating responsibly,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “There is no denying that current policies are driving people to the region and the ability to physically distance in this pandemic is paramount. With our current environment of uncertainty, and many of our businesses already having to take measures to reduce or close their operations due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, safety must be our top priority.”

Annually, there is an alcohol ban on the Truckee River through the Fourth of July weekend. This temporary extension is intended to ensure public safety and health through the remainder of this year’s rafting season. 

Both rafting companies operating on the Truckee River expressed support for the extended alcohol ban. The county is currently working with agency partners including the Tahoe City Public Utility District, U.S. Forest Service and the Tahoe Fund to develop river-specific signage encouraging rafters to physically distance and avoid congregating along the river. 

Portable message boards will be placed near popular access points with extended ordinance information and the county will update required signage notifying the public of the change.

Learn more about the ordinance here