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2017--HSRA Continues to Protect Timberlands

posted Nov 13, 2017, 1:41 PM by Stevee Duber   [ updated Nov 13, 2017, 1:48 PM ]
    The theme this year is protection of timberlands from development. Placer County recently amended their Zoning Code to allow ski lifts and ski runs on land zoned Timber Production. Timber Production Zone (TPZ) lands receive a substantial tax deduction to ensure the long term productivity of timberland.

    Right now land being used by commercial skiing resorts in Placer County is zoned Forest and appraised for tax purposes as Unrestricted Timberland at approximately $1470/acre. The appraisal on TPZ lands, which are restricted to growing timber and compatible uses, is about $42/acre. 

    The Zone Amendment, approved at the request of Northstar Mountain Resort will allow ski resorts in Placer County, which are not in the Tahoe Basin, the ability to rezone to TPZ the property they use for ski lifts and ski runs, substantially lowering their property taxes while incentivizing the development of ski runs and ski lifts on timberland. 

    Prior to the zone amendment, ski runs and lifts were not allowed on TPZ land. They were considered incompatible with the long term viability of timber production. In order to locate incompatible uses, such as ski lifts and ski runs on TPZ property, the property would have to be rezoned and removed from the program in order to ensure an appropriate tax rate for those non-timber commercial uses. 

    Ski runs and ski lifts are still incompatible with growing timber. Trees don’t grow on ski slopes. We don’t think the California taxpayer meant to give ski resorts a tax deduction to use timberland for commercial skiing operations instead of growing trees. Placer County’s amendment defeats the intention of the Timber Production Act. 

    Meanwhile, back in Plumas County, we are still waiting for a hearing date on our challenge of the Plumas County General Plan where one of the issues is the change in Plumas County policy that will allow residential development on lands zoned Timber Production. 

    As always, your financial help is vital. Every donation helps keep us focused on protecting the natural resources of the High Sierra.

Please donate. 


or send a check to:

P.O. Box 65
Sierra City, CA 96125


 The High Sierra Rural Alliance is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. All donations are tax-deductible.