We’ve provided answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Please check back for updates and feel free to email us with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Upper Truckee River has a long history of disturbance, including channel straightening, grazing, logging, and gravel mining that has negatively impacted the river. The river is unnaturally straight and has downcut and disconnected from its floodplain. It continues to erode its bed and banks. This erosion produces sediment which degrades riparian habitat and water quality both within the river and to Lake Tahoe.
Yes, by restoring the river meanders and connecting it to the floodplain, the water table will be higher, supporting riparian and wetland vegetation. Also by relocating some golf holes away from the river and away from the Angora Creek confluence, turf areas will be converted to meadow habitat.
Is the golf course currently on California State Park (CSP) property? Why does CSP own a golf course?
Yes the golf course is in Like Valley State Recreation Area. The golf course was built prior to acquisition of the property by CSP, which leases the course to a concessionaire to operate for public recreation to align with the department’s mission to provide high quality outdoor recreation.
The holes occupy the former floodplain. In order to make room to restore the river meanders and habitat, the holes need to move away from the river. Otherwise, the area adjacent to the river will flood more often, have a higher water table and will be unsuitable for golf turf.
No it is not. The golf course will be reconfigured entirely within Lake Valley State Recreation Area (LVSRA).
The golf course was built in 1958-1964 on the former meadow floodplain (former because the river had eroded and lowered its bed, disconnecting from the meadow and leaving it drier). The golf irrigation and turf are dilapidated and in need of repair. This project will replace the decaying irrigation system with a more efficient system and refresh the majority of the turf.
Yes, it will have similar par and yardage to the existing course but the layout will change.
The reconfigured course will have a similar par, yardage and slope as the existing course. The course will be revitalized by having a new layout, new more efficient irrigation system, and new drought tolerant turf. In addition, the port-o-potties will be replaced with new restrooms. State Parks is committed to keeping Lake Tahoe Golf Course as an affordable public golf course. Fees are evaluated yearly and adjusted. It is anticipated that green fees will increase within an affordable pricing strategy.
Yes the golf course next to the river will decrease. Currently over 6,300 feet of the golf course is adjacent to the river, with turf extending to near the river’s edge, leaving no riparian buffer. The proposed Project reduces that by approximately 2000 feet, restoring the riparian floodplain and corridor.
There will be increased access to the river. Over a 1/2 mile of the river that is currently closed will be open to the public with a new ADA trail along the restored river. There will be a new bridge for recreation access to connect the ADA trail from HWY 50 to trails in Washoe Meadows. Increased access will allow more people to enjoy the river and the Park versus the current access situation, which is only from a nearby neighborhood. There will also be a safe route for pedestrians through the golf course and over the river into Washoe Meadows State Park from Country Club Drive.
The proposed Project will reduce the part of the golf course located in a Stream Environment Zone (SEZ) by 10 acres. It will also reduce the area of golf course turf adjacent to the river from over 6300 linear feet to less than 4500 linear feet.
Surveys have been conducted for sensitive species in the park, including yellow-legged frogs. There are no listed species in the Project area. Surveys have also been conducted for the Sand Lily: it is present in the dry meadow by the old barn in WMSP, but not in the Project area.
A lawsuit challenging the adequacy of the EIR/EIS/EIS was filed in Alameda County Superior Court on February 29, 2012. The trial court granted the petition on four grounds: The draft EIR/EIS/EIS did not identify a stable proposed project because it set forth a range of alternatives without designating a preferred alternative. The final EIR/EIS/EIS did not sufficiently explain why the preferred alternative was substantially the same as Alternative 2 in the draft EIR/EIS/EIS. The vegetation mapping in the final EIR/EIS/EIS differed from that included in the draft EIR/EIS/EIS and required recirculation of the final EIR/EIS/EIS. The mitigation measures listed in the final EIR/EIS/EIS for protecting identified cultural sites, as well as fens and other wetlands, improperly deferred mitigation by failing to set a performance standard or to commit to further environmental review.
State Parks is in the process of preparing a new EIR with a proposed project/preferred alternative to restore the river and revitalize the golf course totally within LVSRA.
Revenue from the golf course generates approximately $650,000 per year to CA State Parks. It is the only park in the Sierra district that operates at a profit and revenue from the course helps to support other parks to stay open, such as Emerald Bay, Sugar Pine Point, and Washoe Meadows.
Currently fees range up to $99 dollars. Fees will continue to be capped by CA State Parks, with the goal of providing an affordable golf course to the community and visitors.
Recreational demand is for an 18-hole regulation golf course. Handicaps are based on an 18-hole course and thus it’s required in order to host tournaments. The past economic study showed that a 9-hole course would be only marginally economically feasible, if at all.
As long as those options are within the framework of the proposed Project and within the envelope of golf-allowable in LVSRA, they can be considered. Basically, it is feasible to consider variations of the project, including design variations for the river and/or golf course as long as they do not have additional/increased impact and are within the area analyzed. The proposed Project in the EIR/EIS includes full restoration of the segment of the river within the LVSRA and WMSP and allows for reconfiguration of the golf course within the envelope to keep an 18-hole regulation golf course. Alternative golf layouts or river alignments that are feasible and can achieve these goals (18-hole course with geomorphic river restoration) within the golf allowable envelope and the study area are considered covered by the joint EIR/EIS document.
This project is part of a regional solution for reducing sedimentation into Lake Tahoe. The project has been in planning stages for many years. State Parks has funding earmarked for the design phase. During that phase, the Department will contract to have the river design completed and engineer stamped plans prepared.
Funding for implementation of the river restoration is anticipated to be funded by future grants. Funding for reconfiguration of the golf course, caused by the river restoration, is yet to be determined. There will be no direct impact on taxpayers.
During this design phase, State Parks will be working with TRPA, CDFW, and the Water Quality Control board to provide guidelines on the Best Management Practices that need to be included in permits and incorporated during and post construction to avoid any water quality or other impacts.
It is likely that the golf course would be fully closed for one year while the holes are reconfigured, irrigation is installed and turf is grown in. It is possible that part of the course would be closed part of the second year, or that only part of the course would be closed over a period of 2 years, or that a temporary layout would be used.
This is a key subject area to be analyzed in the EIR/EIS. Wildlife surveys for various species have been conducted in the past to support the EIR/EIS, as well as recent record searches. Additional surveys will be required pre-construction as part of permit requirements, and appropriate avoidance measures will be specified. The proposed project will increase and improve both in-stream and riparian habitats in and along the Upper Truckee River by restoring floodplain connectivity and more natural geomorphic conditions.