Welcome to the Save Van Norden Lake site

Save Van Norden Lake bumper sticker mediumWelcome to our site that is dedicated to the preservation of Van Norden Lake and its surrounding wetlands located in the Donner Summit Valley in California. The goal of the site is to provide information to people like you that are concerned about the disposition of Van Norden Lake and generate support for its preservation. For those of you that are not that familiar with the Summit Valley and Van Norden Lake, when you have the time, you may want to view the presentation at the bottom of the page that provides some general information. The site also offers more in depth information about the history of the Summit Valley and more specifically Van Norden Lake and the current situation with the dam (See the Information page). In the coming year the Truckee Donner Land Trust will be making critical decisions about the disposition of Van Norden Lake that could result in the a drastic reduction in its size and the reduction of large amounts of wetland habitat in the Summit Valley. We offer here a plan that could prevent this drastic reduction (please review our Two Lake Solution) that we would like the Land Trust to adopt as a mitigation plan. In future posts we will be discussing the details of the plan and the situation as it progresses during this critical year. If you would like to stay abreast of events please subscribe to this log by filling out the email subscription box on the right. If you would like to make your feeling known concerning the lake and wetland, please take our survey and/or send us your feedback. Please explore our site to learn more about the Summit Valley and Van Norden Lake. Learn what you can do to help keep the lake and its surrounding wetlands thriving. I will end this first post by sharing an open letter that we have sent to the board of directors for the Truckee Donner Land Trust.

(Click on letter for full sized version) Open letter to TDLT 1-12-14
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2 Responses to Welcome to the Save Van Norden Lake site

  1. John Sarter says:

    I had heard some mention of the Corp of Engineers having deemed the Van Norden Damn to be unsafe, but I am initially quite taken aback by the plan to reduce the Van Norden Lake to only a 2 acre size. The impression given to me by what I have read here is that there seems to be a rushed attempt to pacify the National Forest Service by virtually eliminating the damn and wetlands that exist in Van Norden Meadow as a result. In this age of increasing global temperatures and diminishing water resources, this appears to be what I would consider a foolish action. Any existing wetlands in California in particular are a diminishing and extremely valuable asset that needs all the protection and if anything EXPANSION possible.

    Not only is this is valuable resource for existing amphibian and waterfowl habitat and migration, it is also an extremely valuable asset for the purpose of water resources for fire suppression efforts. It would be absurd to reduce it in any substantial manner whatsoever.
    -John Sarter

    • admin says:


      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

      Just a small clarification. The Corps of Engineers did not deem the dam unsafe. As a matter of fact, no public agency has deemed the dam unsafe in it’s current configuration. It was the State Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) that deemed the dam to be “out of compliance with state regulations”. This is not the same thing as being unsafe. In fact, in the meeting held by TDLT last summer on Van Norden Meadow, the district engineer for DSOD said explicitly that he did not believe the dam was unsafe.

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