Wilderness Land Trust permanently protects 20-acre private inholding as part of the Mokelumne Wilderness

Wilderness Land Trust permanently protects 20-acre private inholding as part of the Mokelumne Wilderness

Jan. 06, 2011

CARBONDALE, CO … As we bush-wacked our way into the Mokelumne Wilderness early in summer 2009, The Wilderness Land Trust staff and our dedicated land appraiser searched for an elusive trail to lead us to the Raymond Creek private inholding.  We spotted a furry baby black bear scaling a towering Sugar Pine straight ahead.  As we snapped a quick photo, the urgent, loud grunts of a mother bear, unseen but definitely heard, chased us away to return another day.  Later that summer, we finally did make it to the Raymond Creek property, purchased it, and now are proud to announce that The Wilderness Land Trust recently transferred the 20-acre private inholding to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest for permanent protection as a part of the Mokelumne Wilderness.  The Mokelumne Wilderness is located in California, south of Lake Tahoe and the town of Markeleeville, between Highways 88 and 89 in the Humboldt-Toiyabe and El Dorado National Forests.


Permanent protection as wilderness of one of the few remaining private inholding properties in the Mokelumne Wilderness prevents future incompatible private uses at the top of the Carson River watershed in a pristine alpine environment.  The property is located along Raymond Creek, at the very top of the watershed. The Carson River travels 184 miles to provide a lifeline for people, wildlife and agriculture in the Mokelumne Wilderness, the Hope Valley, and Carson City.


Wildlife common to the area include bears (and their cubs), eagles, picas and grouse.  The Carson River Basin also supports towering pines, valleys with pastoral meadows and meandering creeks.  The views from the property include rugged rock formations and some of the tallest peaks in the area.


“Hiking to this property, surrounded by stunning views, we encountered sage grouse, a mother bear with its cub, and a beautiful mountain meadow complete with a meandering stream, fed by Raymond Creek,” said Aimee Rutledge, California Program Manager.  “We are proud to work with the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest to permanently protect this property and its precious resources as part of the surrounding Mokelumne Wilderness.”


The US Forest Service, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest manages the section of the Mokelumne Wilderness containing the Raymond Creek Property. 


“This acquisition is truly a gift to the American people.  We are thrilled about the inclusion of this property into the National Forest as this will provide both the local residents of Alpine County, as well as the general public, with expanded opportunity to explore this unique and pristine wilderness area.  The work The Wilderness Land Trust did to secure this property and donate it to the Forest Service is greatly appreciated",” said Jeanne Higgins, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor. 


Mokelumne Wilderness

The United States Congress designated the Mokelumne Wilderness in 1964 and it now has a total of approximately 99,181 acres, to which the 20-acre Raymond Creek property was added when The Trust donated the property to the Forest Service.


The Mokelumne and Carson Rivers bisect remote mountainous terrain where elevations range from about 4,000 feet to 10,000 feet near Round Top Peak.   Shallow valleys hide many small lakes.  The river canyons are extremely rugged, but glaciers have smoothed much of the area, leaving well-placed trails relatively easy to hike.  In spring and summer, meadows boast a riot of wildflower color.  A prolific trail system includes 20 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, as well as other regional trail systems, providing many opportunities for recreation and solitude.

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Raymond Creek Property-20 acres