Wilderness Land Trust protects access to Thornburg Canyon Trail - Outdoor Industry Association

Wilderness Land Trust protects access to Thornburg Canyon Trail

For Immediate Release

Karin Evans, Administration

Jun 17, 2012

The Wilderness Land Trust Acquires 160 acres in California’s Mokelumne Wilderness Purchase Protects Public Access to Thornburg Canyon Trail and the Headwaters of Carson River

The Thornburg Canyon Trail travels over eight miles point to point from Blue Lakes Road at 9,000 feet to the quaint mountain town of Markleeville, CA at 5,500 feet.  Along the way, trail users are dazzled by panoramic views of the Mokelumne Wilderness in the Carson Pass and Hope Valley areas, and pass through old growth forest and wet meadows.  The Wilderness Land Trust has acquired the last remaining 160-acre private inholding that could have blocked access to this trail.   The purchase of this property builds on another Wilderness Land Trust purchase in 2009 and protects one of the last private inholdings in the 99,000 acre Mokelumne Wilderness.  It helps protect the headwaters of the Carson River, a lifeline for resident wildlife and people.

Located just south of Lake Tahoe, high above the Hope Valley, the property offers dramatic views to the surrounding Mokelumne Wilderness and its unique mountain formations, including Jeff Davis Peak, Markleeville Peak, Round Top and many others.

Jeff Davis Creek and the wet meadow on the property provide diverse habitat for wildlife and a beautiful scene for outdoor enthusiasts.  The creek flows to the Carson River.

The Wilderness Land Trust worked for almost two years to secure the property.  WLT is now working to transfer it to the US Forest Service, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, which along with the El Dorado National Forest, oversees the Mokelumne Wilderness.

“The land is one of only two properties within the Humboldt-Toiyabe Forest area of the Mokelumne wilderness to remain in private ownership,” said Aimee Rutledge, the land trust’s California Program Manager. “Private uses inconsistent with wilderness would have despoiled an unbroken expanse of wilderness and could have blocked public access to the Thornburg Canyon trail.

The area includes many miles of popular trails including a segment of the Pacific Crest Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail, and offers hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, fishing, birding, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

“We are proud to help complete the Mokelumne Wilderness for future generations, ensuring that ‘man is a visitor and shall not remain,’ a goal of the 1964 Wilderness Act,” said Reid Haughey, president of The Wilderness Land Trust.

The Wilderness Land Trust is a small, highly specialized nonprofit organization established to buy and protect wilderness land. Since it was founded in 1992, the non-profit organization has preserved more than 344 parcels comprising of more than 31,000 acres of wilderness inholdings in 76 designated and proposed wilderness areas. The Wilderness Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) organization, has offices in California, Colorado and Washington State.  For more information visit our website www.wildernesslandtrust.org

The Wilderness Land Trust is a 1% for the Planet Non-Profit Partner.  Visit www.onepercentfortheplanet.org for more informatio