Follow by Email

Monday, September 5, 2011

Independence Lake Update

Surprisingly, my post on the Truckee River Watershed Council stakeholder's meeting in April has consistently shown as one of the top viewing posts on my blog...and that was five months ago. I'm guessing that the new land owner's purchase/policy of usage of the surrounding land around the lake, The Nature Conservancy, has piqued people's and con. Below is a belated post on the TNC's current policy of ingress and egress, camping, boat rentals etc...

Fishing regulations:
No live bait, use of artificials required; all cutthroat trout must be released; limit five kokanee salmon or brook trout.

Seven primitive walk-in campsites, with bear-proof food storagebox, picnic table and fire ring provided; no developed, piped water orgarbage service (pack it in, pack it out); first-come, first-served; $10 per night, maximum of six people per site.

Boat rentals available:
Three 14-foot aluminum boats with 10-horsepower 4-cycle outboards, $50 day, $25 half-day; eight kayaks, including two tandems, four pontoon float tubes, $20, $10.

OK on trails and in campsites, must be leashed.

No watercraft permitted except for rentals, no hunting or firing guns, no campfires outside of designated rings at campsites, no smoking, firewood cutting, felt-soled waders or live bait.

How to get there:
From Truckee, take Highway 89 north for 15 miles to
turnoff marked "Independence Lake, Webber Lake, Jackson Meadow Reservoir."

Turn left and go 1.5 miles (on paved road) to junction (signed
"Independence Lake - 5 miles").

Turn left and drive 2 miles (becomes dirt,rough for some vehicles) to a fork (signed "Independence Lake - miles").

Take right fork and go 0.5 of a mile to another fork. Bear left and drive across a stream (if you do not drive across a stream just after taking this fork, you have taken the wrong fork), and continue to signed entrance road for Independence Lake Preserve. High-clearance vehicles required.


  1. Frank-
    There is no camping at the lake due to a snafu with Sierra Counties planning commission and TNC changed the fees for water craft rentals to a "suggested donation" essentially making the use of boats free.

  2. Jay---Thanks for the more recent update; it is appreciated.

    Oh well, Sierra county again, likely looking for $$$. I'm sure Brian has informed you that the county now charges USFS permittees 1% in addition to the 3% being paid to the USFS for a "possessiary interest" while guiding on USFS land in Sierra county. They are really hard-up for $$$.

    So now Tahoe National Forest permittees pay 4% off the top while operating on USFS lands. It is one of the reasons why there are issues with scammer guides coming in from Reno, Sacramanto and San Francisco who are not operating under a permit. I'm hoping that the USFS or CA DF & G do some enforcement and bust these guides.

    "Honest Abe" Frank

  3. Frank-
    The campground issue is not about money. The county requires a special use permit to build a new campground(why TNC refuses to upgrade the existing cg is beyond me)and when TNC went before the planning commission the so called Friends of Independence Lake raised a big stink and TNC pulled their application.Maybe we will get to camp there again next year...hopefully.

    As far as Sierra County collecting tax on permit fees my main issue is they have no way to distinguish between percent of time in Sierra County vs. time spent in other counties.So in affect they are taxing on 100% of gross receipts and not just time spent in Sierra County.Way wrong in my opinion.

    I'm with you on the illegal guides Frank.

  4. Jay----I went back & forth with Sierra county via certified letters & phone conversations. They knew I was not pleased with the money they were extracting. The county assessor and an appraiser gave me the pertinent CA Tax Code info that applies. They mentioned that they went to my website and noticed that I charge $325 for one person for a full-day. Since the USFS has alloted me 200 "service days" on my permit within Tahoe National Forest lands. A "service day" equals one person; hence two people on the same day equals two service days. So the assessor fiqured 200 X $325 and said I make $65,000.00 per year!!! I explained via numbers how way off they were relative to actual $$$ per service days and the gross amount of $65,000 and they paid no heed.

    Also, they informed me that Sierra county was 70% within the Tahoe National Forest. Then they explained another complicated formula on how they assessed my "land value" on their property tax bill. I said take your money and what a bunch of BS.