Northstar-at-Tahoe Conservation and Resource Protection

Developing conservation goals for land use and natural resources management at Northstar-at-Tahoe


Patricia Gordon-Reedy, M.A.
Botanist, Vegetation Ecologist

Northstar-at-Tahoe (Northstar) is an 8,000 acre, year-round destination resort in Truckee, California near Lake Tahoe.  The resort includes multiple land uses, ranging from residential and recreational development to relatively undisturbed, high-value habitats, including old-growth conifer forests, wetlands, and riparian areas.  The Northstar partners (Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP) reached an agreement with non-profit groups working on resource conservation issues in the region (Sierra Watch, Mountain Area Preservation Foundation) that allows Northstar to move ahead with development without legal challenges if development and resource protection and management are consistent with the terms of the agreement. 

 A key element of the agreement was development of a Habitat Management Plan (HMP) that outlines goals for resource protection and provides the framework for long-term management, conservation, and monitoring of biological resources onsite, while allowing for some development and recreational activities. 

The Conservation Biology Institute was instrumental in working with the various parties to develop conservation goals for land use and natural resources management at Northstar and identify land use/resource management zones and allowable uses and conservation and management requirements within those zones.   These goals and zones provided the framework for the HMP. 

Patricia Gordon-Reedy is currently acting in an advisory capacity to the non-profit groups and their representatives (Project Team) to ensure that proposed development is consistent with the HMP.  She recently conducted a Consistency Review, which included a site visit to assess the extent of proposed site enhancements, review of project-related documents including the proposed Overall Mountain Improvements Plan, and interaction with the Project Team and Northstar to resolve or minimize any inconsistences.

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