Tahoe’s next big development threat is taking shape on the legendary property between Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley known as White Wolf.
The proposed new gated development and resort at the crest of the Sierra would spread subdivisions from Alpine Meadows Road, along the Five Lakes Trail, and into land designated for federal wilderness protection.
READ THE STRATEGIC ASSESMENT
Check out our press release from July 27.
The White Wolf Property
The White Wolf property consists of approximately 455 acres, including the granite cliffs that define the eastern boundary of the Granite Chief Wilderness Designation; portions of the Squaw Valley Ski area, notably the peaks of KT-22, Olympic Lady, and Red Dog Ridge; and a segment of the Five Lakes Trail, a publicly owned and accessible United States Forest Service trail.
Current owner Troy Caldwell purchased the White Wolf Property from Southern Pacific Land Company in 1989 for approximately $400,000.
Nearly all (452 of 455 acres) of the White Wolf Property is currently zoned as Open Space.
On November 5, 2019 Placer County released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) for Caldwell’s White Wolf proposal.
According to the initial planning document, the project would climb from Alpine Meadows Road north towards Squaw Valley and west to the Granite Chief Wilderness Area.
Development would include:
- 38 upscale single-family custom home lots;
- 14 guest units;
- 6 employee lodging units;
- 2 private ski lifts;
- new roads and parking lots;
- equestrian facilities; and
- tennis courts.
Development is proposed for land designated by Congress for national wilderness protection; new subdivisions would border the Five Lakes Trail, which famed outdoors writer Tom Stienstra of the San Francisco Chronicle calls “gorgeous and pristine… one of the best short day hikes in California.”
The project would be a gated development, with access (including ski access) restricted to property owners and their guests.
Approval would require a general plan amendment and rezoning. The next step in the planning process will likely be release of a Draft Environmental Impact Report.
What’s at Stake
Proposed development on the White Wolf property presents a clear threat to valuable Sierra resources. Initial review of the proposed project and the property at stake reveals a number of significant issues and potential impacts:
- development in land designated for wilderness;
- degradation of the wilderness experience in existing Granite Chief Wilderness;
- degradation of the Five Lakes Trail;
- impact on regional scenic values;
- threats to public safety, including danger of wildfire and avalanche; and
- destruction of biological resources, including endangered species habitat.
What We Can Do
Sierra Watch is researching a thorough, proactive strategic assessment of the White Wolf property and proposed project in order to better understand the values at stake and establish conservation principles to guide our work going forward.
Read the PDF of the Sierra Watch White Wolf Strategic Assessment: https://www.sierrawatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Sierra-Watch-White-Wolf-Strategic-Assessment-July-2021.pdf
Sign up for updates: https://www.sierrawatch.org/stay-informed/
And for more information on Placer County’s planning process, visit: