Conservation groups buy Royal Gorge, 3000 acres
Royal Gorge, the nation’s largest cross-country ski area, has been purchased by conservation groups to be preserved and protected from development.
The Trust for Public Land and the Truckee Donner Land Trust, working as part of the Northern Sierra Partnership, raised $11.25 million in private and public money, meeting a Dec. 20 deadline to purchase the 3000-acre property on Donner Summit. More than 1,000 people donated to the five-month-long campaign, the groups said.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation will provide bridge funding to cover for the expected public funds until those funds are available over the next two years. Overall, the three groups are trying to raise $15.5 million, which will include future improvements on the property.
“Saving Royal Gorge is a great example of our goal of protecting land for people,” said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land, in a statement. “Families have been coming to Royal Gorge for many years and now those families can be assured that this wonderful place will still be there for future generations to enjoy.”
Local residents at Serene Lakes and Sugar Bowl, both near Royal Gorge, provided most of the private money. The Nature Conservancy, as well as Sierra Watch, also helped raise funds for the campaign.