Placer County seeks environmental and community analysis of the Truckee River Recreational Access Project plan

Published on April 15, 2021

The Placer County Board of Supervisors this week approved a contract with Ascent Environmental Inc. to complete an environmental impact report and community impact analysis for the Truckee River Recreational Access Project plan.

To help move the project forward, Placer sought a company with experience in area plans that conserve local environmental resources, while supporting access to public land. Ascent Environmental Inc. has experience with similar planning projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin and Tahoe Truckee region, and is qualified to draft the environment analysis pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act standards. The approval authorizes the county’s director of public works to award a consultant contract up to $250,000.

The Truckee River corridor between Tahoe City and Truckee is a popular destination for paddlers, hikers, anglers, bicyclists, cross-country skiers, campers and others who want to enjoy the river.  Through the recreational access plan, Placer County - working in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, Town of Truckee, Truckee River Watershed Council, nearby property owners and the general public – seeks to create clear river and forest access points along the plan area.

Recreation use is heavy in the plan area, but there are few formal public access points to the river and Forest Service land. As a result, users are creating their own trails, inadvertently trespassing on private property, creating informal parking areas and degrading the environment.

The project plan will include proposed improvements to minimize private property trespassing, improve eroding river banks, provide safe parking with connections to recreation opportunities, improve water quality, provide formalized connections to existing unpaved trails, establish paved multi-use trails and more.

The community already enjoys the existing shared-use paved trail between Squaw Valley Road and Tahoe City, which is a cornerstone for recreational travel and public access along this section of the river. The TRRAP will explore a similar trail north of Squaw Valley Road to connect the existing trail north to the Town of Truckee’s Legacy Trail, which would greatly enhance public access throughout the corridor.

Development of environmental documentation for the project will involve community outreach and feedback along with environmental studies to determine potential impacts and benefits of TRRAP implementation, including a shared-use paved trail. 

In 2017, the county began conversations on developing the plan and held a first round of community meetings. The feedback received resulted in the development of a preliminary draft plan. After refinement through the environmental review and community outreach process the updated draft plan will go to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

A stakeholder meeting was held on April 12 with homeowners within the plan area. More feedback and outreach opportunities will be scheduled over the summer and will be updated on the project website as soon as they are finalized. The full scope of the contract can be viewed here. More information can be found on the project website.