QUINCY — After a six-year process, Bucks Lake now has protection via a conservation easement courtesy of the Feather River Land Trust.
The lake is a PG&E-run reservoir in Plumas County that has historically been used recreationally. A conservation easement grants the site protection from land development while still allowing for the public to access the body of water.
A press release issued Friday by the land trust said the final papers were turned in Nov. 23 at the Plumas County Recorder’s Office at which point the conservation easement was official.
Bucks Lake and the wilderness surrounding it houses more than 30 species considered to have special statuses such as the Willow flycatcher, Sierra marten, the Quincy lupine and the mountain yellow-legged frog, the release said.
“The easement prohibits lakeshore subdivision and large building developments that could impact native plants, animals and historical/cultural sites,” the release said. “The conservation easement at Bucks Lake adds to a larger landscape of protected lands, with adjacent Plumas National Forest and the Bucks Lake Wilderness creating connectivity for wildlife and plant communities.”
After it went bankrupt in 2003, PG&E was required to conserve at least 140,000 acres of undeveloped wilderness in order to protect local forests, lakes and other natural lands.
“Approximately 44,000 acres of these watershed lands are within the upper North Fork Feather River Watershed,” the release said. “(The Feather River Land Trust) has been working to permanently conserve these Feather River Watershed lands, including Bucks Lake, Mountain Meadows Reservoir, Tásmam Koyóm (Humbug Valley), Butt Valley, Lake Almanor and others, with conservation easements.”
The area protected consists of 2,154 acres of land and water as well as 300 acres of meadows, forests and wetlands.
PG&E will retain ownership of the land and continue to operate the reservoir.