now SAVE DONNER SUMMIT
Download Official Documents filed with Placer County about Royal Gorge LLC. Proposed Donner Summit Development.



Read the definitive work on the West's water crisis: "CADILLAC DESERT - The American West and Its Disappearing Water" by Marc Reisner.
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Razorback Ridge Now Later with Ski Camp??

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Where is Donner Summit? Who is behind 'Save Donner Summit'?
Who are Foster-Syme (Royal Gorge LLC) What are the development plans they have in mind?
Is this new proposed development a done deal? Do they need to do an E.I.R?
How long will the approval process take? If they build the proposed development how long will that take?
How do I get a SAVE DONNER SUMMIT bumper stickers?    Isn't Development Inevitable?
Where will they get water and sewer services? Will the Van Norden meadow be developed?
Won�t this help provide more jobs for the community? Will Royal Gorge cross country skiing continue?
What is a 'conservation' community? Aren't the developers espousing 'green'?

Where is Donner Summit?
Donner Summit is located at roughly 7200 feet elevation on the crest of the Sierra Nevada between Sacramento California and Reno Nevada. Interstate 80 goes over the summit. You may have heard of this area from the story of the Donner Party. The area is very popular with hikers, skiers, naturalists, historians, climbers, train buffs, etc and is the watershed for many streams and rivers including the North Fork of the American River and contains the headwater of the South Yuba River.
Who is behind 'Save Donner Summit'?
We are a group of full and part-time residents of the area who are concerned by the development plans presented by Foster-Syme (Royal Gorge LLC). We have set up this website as a means of giving people information on the plans, resources to check, and people/agencies to be contacted in protest (or support) of the development plans.
Who are Foster-Syme (Royal Gorge LLC)
Todd Foster of Foster Enterprises (grandson of the man who created Foster City) and Kirk Syme of Woodstock Development are the principles and owners of Royal Gorge LLC, the company that purchased the 3000 acres of land at Donner Summit that surround Serene Lakes and Soda Springs.
What are the development plans they have in mind?
Major development on Donner Summit in four separate locations. Their initial plans include 600+ "shared ownership" condominiums, two hotels, retail/commercial stores, employee housing, several ski lifts and runs, two artificial lakes, and hundreds of home sites. One of the locations will be a 'village' much like Northstar except 2-3 times the size.
Is this new proposed development a done deal?
No, they have just started the preliminary project registration process with Placer County.
Do they need to do an E.I.R?
Yes, once the preliminary process has finished they will need to do an EIR.
How long will the approval process take?
A minimum of 18-24 months.
If they build the proposed development how long will that take?
Unknow, but perhaps years.
How do I get one of those cool SAVE DONNER SUMMIT bumper stickers?
Click here for info.
Isn't Development Inevitable?
Not necessarily so. Please do not start out by assuming the developer's viewpoint which is: "We plan to build 3000 homes. We've negotiated with the community to only build 1200. Therefore the community has 'won'". Let's be realistic and look at reality: "The current developMENT on the land is zero. ANYTHING greater than zero is a WIN for the developERS. Anything that destroys the environment and recreational opportunties of the area is a LOSS to everyone. Check out more on this.
Where will they get water and sewer services?
We have not been told where their water source is coming from yet. There is no sufficient existing water supply and the current sewer plant is already maxed out. Expanding (minimum doubling) of the existing sewerage, if possible, will have a negative impact on local watersheds and the Yuba river. See the RG Memo on Water Supply and Demand Requirements released May 17, 2007.
Will the Van Norden meadow be developed?
The developers said they will not develop the meadow (eg the lake). There were previous plans that were already in process, to put in a new road, accessing 18 new home sites. Plus they are proposing a new day lodge, interpretive center, employee housing, maintenance building, playground and picnic grounds, and the main entrance to whatever will be left of the Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Area. The development will be in the meadow between the lake and the county road. The water from Van Norden meadow is the headwater of the South Fork of the South Yuba River.
Won�t this help provide more jobs for the community?
There is already a shortage of workers on Donner Summit. The resorts have to import employees. This development will only bring more low paying jobs.
Will Royal Gorge cross country skiing continue?
The developer said they are committed to keeping Royal Gorge cross country skiing open. But they will be eliminating a lot of the trails to create "Ski Camp". They announced they will close the main entrance to Royal Gorge (Summit Station), where most of the ski trails are, and moving the entrance to Van Norden Meadow (now renamed Summit Camp). Many of the remaining existing trails are where the proposed "Lake Camp" development and home sites will be, and through the widely scattered "forest" home sites, all of which will need access roads and driveways, creating many road crossings for skiers, and trespassing on what will now be private homesite property. It�s possible a lot of Royal Gorge trails will be eliminated after development.
What is a 'conservation' community?
It is strictly a public relations term for development in an environmentally sensitive area. There is nothing that diminishes the fact that the land will be raped and made into a suburban mall nightmare. See "Conservation Communities? Not Quite!".
Aren't the developers espousing 'green'?
Again, strictly a public relations effort. Destroying pristine land and increasing pollution, noise, light, and traffic is not green. Look at the political contributions they have made to get an idea of what they really think.

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