Easement sets aside Clear Creek acreage

About 850 acres along Clear Creek on the eastern slope of the Carson Range have been placed in a conservation easement and permanently preserved thanks to a partnership between Clear Creek Tahoe and The Nature Conservancy.

Clear Creek Tahoe, a residential development and golf course on the northern edge of Douglas County along Highway 50, donated the conservation easement to The Nature Conservancy, ensuring that the land remains natural open space in perpetuity.

"We are honored to have The Nature Conservancy as our land steward partner," said Jim Taylor, managing partner of Clear Creek Tahoe. "We hope that this project and the work we have done to include protected open spaces can become a model for how to balance development and caring for the environment in other projects in the future."

Margie Evans, Clear Creek Watershed Council coordinator, lauded the scenic ridge lines and open meadow protected by the easement.

"I was expecting to see a sea of bright green when I arrived, golf courses and other artificial things," she said, "but you can't even see the golf course from here. This is beautiful and natural."

The easement is part of a larger effort to protect pieces of the Clear Creek watershed, an effort that involves Carson City and Douglas County, the U.S. Forest Service Carson Ranger District, the Carson River Coalition, the Clear Creek Watershed Council and the Washoe Tribe.

"We owe this great success and the protection of a crucial piece of the Clear Creek and Carson River watersheds to the work of many dedicated partners, as well as the citizens of Carson City and Douglas County who worked to see a portion of this landscape conserved," said Kathryn Landreth, state director of The Nature Conservancy.

Clear Creek is the only tributary to the main fork of the Carson River that flows year round. The easement safeguards a large piece of land around the creek that will help the water remain pristine and clean. The easement also preserves critical riparian and wet meadow habitat for hundreds of birds, like northern goshawks, mountain quail and western bluebirds, as well as for other animals that rely on the area. Adjoining Forest Service land and Washoe tribal land, the protected swath provides a large continuous piece of connected habitat for animals that use the corridor.

The Nature Conservancy is a conservation organization that strives to protect ecologically important lands and waters. To date, the organization and its more than 6,000 members have protected more than 1 million acres in Nevada.

For more information, visit www.nature.org/nevada.


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