PRESS RELEASE – Squaw Valley: New Name, Same Fight to Keep “Tahoe Truckee True”

Sierra Watch Logo

Tahoe Truckee True


For Immediate Release

Contact: Tom Mooers (530) 265-2849 x200

November 19, 2020


Lake Tahoe, Calif. — Although Squaw Valley may be getting a new name, the ongoing fight over proposed development remains.  And conservationists are getting a jump on the resort’s new brand. 

Sierra Watch announced today a new name for its grassroots effort to protect the region’s values as “Tahoe Truckee True.”

“Our commitment to this place remains steadfast,” said Tom Mooers of Sierra Watch.  “And we’ll keep working to defend its values no matter what it’s called, making sure the valley and the region stay Tahoe Truckee True.”

Dr. Robb Gaffney in Squaw Valley Tahoe Truckee True

Pictured: Dr. Robb Gaffney, author of Squallywood, with family representing Tahoe Truckee True

Earlier this year, Alterra Mountain Company announced it will change the name of its resort, characterizing the word squaw as “…deeply rooted in an offensive, demeaning and often violent history.”

The international ski conglomerate, however, has not shown any inclination to change their existing plans to develop the iconic valley, doggedly seeking to remake the region with development of a size and scope Tahoe has never seen.  Development would include a series of high-rise condo hotels and a 90,000 square-foot indoor waterpark—as wide as a Walmart and nearly three times as tall. 


Pictured: Iconic Squaw Valley is getting a name and so is the campaign to Keep Squaw True.

The project would take 25 years to construct, add thousands of car trips to Tahoe’s crowded roads, threaten the lake’s famed clarity—and put public safety at risk. 

In the event of wildfire, with all that new development, it would take more than ten hours to evacuate the valley.

In response, conservation non-profit Sierra Watch launched a campaign to Keep Squaw True, recruiting thousands of volunteers in a growing grassroots movement that has, so far, stopped Alterra from pursuing its project – first proposed nine years ago.

“We appreciate Alterra’s willingness to re-consider the history of what we’ve known as Squaw Valley,” says Tom Mooers, Executive Director of Sierra Watch.  “And we’re committed to convincing them to join us in re-imagining its future.”

Keep Squaw True and Tahoe Truckee True Logo

Pictured: There’s a new sticker in town – Sierra Watch unveils the new name of its ongoing campaign.

After the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved Alterra’s proposed development in 2016, Sierra Watch initiated two public interest court challenges to the approvals: one based on state planning law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); the other based on violations of California’s Brown Act.

Sierra Watch’s CEQA challenge is based on decision-makers’ failure to assess the proposed development’s impact on key Tahoe issues like Tahoe clarity, fire safety, and traffic.

Sierra Watch’s Brown Act case challenges Placer County’s last-minute deal with the developers and the California Attorney General, negotiated in secret and announced the same day the project was approved.

Both challenges are on appeal.  In the meantime, Alterra’s development, first proposed nine years ago, is on hold.

“Our goal is not simply to win a lawsuit,” say Mooers of Sierra Watch.  “Our mission is to protect the timeless natural resources of one of our great Sierra places.  No matter what we call it, our values will remain Tahoe Truckee True.”

Tahoe Truckee True in Squaw Valley

Pictured: Sierra Watch supporters in Squaw Valley representing the movement for responsible development.

For more, read Sierra Watch’s message to the organization’s supporters announcing Tahoe Truckee True


About Sierra Watch

Sierra Watch works to protect great places in the Sierra Nevada.  Founded in 2001, the Nevada City based non-profit has built a remarkable track record in land preservation in Tahoe’s Martis Valley, on Donner Summit, and for other treasured Sierra landscapes.  For more information, visit