Under the deal announced Monday, the Trust for Public Land and Truckee Donner Land Trust will buy the 3,000-acre Royal Gorge property for $13.5 million. They plan to build trails and take out fences.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the area has long served as a passageway for travelers seeking to cross the craggy peaks, including the ill-fated Donner Party. It also served as a trading hub for the Maidu and Washoe tribes.
The land has old-growth red fir forests, lakes and the lush Van Norden Meadow. It is also has the headwaters for three major rivers. It has been in private hands for several decades.