HSRA Updates

Feather River Inn Master Plan Project Challenged

On July 6, 2009 HSRA filed a petition in Superior Court challenging the Plumas County Board of Supervisors' approval of the Feather River Inn Master Plan Project. Although we support the renovation of the Inn and the use of the property as a resort, the approved project proposes considerable development on open space lands, including the floodplain and sensitive wildlife habitat area to the east of Bonta Creek. The development proposes to realign and channelize Bonta Creek to allow for 88 resort condominium units. Channelization of a creek to accommodate new development in Plumas County is not only unnecessary, but is also inconsistent with the existing general plan. To read more about the Feather River Inn Master Plan Project including the full petition click here.

Your help is critical to cover legal costs

From the beginning the project has achieved its goals through deception. A timber conversion permit was obtained by concealing the true purpose of removing trees. CalFire was told the timber harvest was necessary to aid in the renovation of existing historical buildings, but was not told that the harvest was necessary to accommodate new development. Twelve condominium units were built on lands zoned Open Space because the zone boundary was assumed to be approximate. The construction was red-tagged, but was allowed to proceed under the guise of "winterization" to protect, in at least one case, a concrete slab. In the picture below the "winterized" condominiums are the six on the left, built in a zone where no dwellings are allowed. The six condominiums built on the right are in an area zoned for just one dwelling unit. Despite knowing the intended use of the structures as a condominiums, the County allowed them to be built by calling them motel units.


Plumas County believes an unlimited number of "lodging units" can be built on lands zoned Recreation. Further, any lot zoned recreation can be completely covered by buildings. State law requires counties to specify the number and type of building in every zone as well as the percentage of building coverage of a parcel. The filed petition challenges the county policy.


Please help by donating whatever you can to:
High Sierra Rural Alliance
P.O. Box 65
Sierra City, CA 96125
The High Sierra Rural Alliance is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. All donations are tax-deductible.


High Sierra Rural Responds

Striking back against a series of letters to the editors in some local papers, and to an editorial in the Sierra Booster (www.sierrabooster.com), High Sierra Rural Alliance has issued a response in the form of an email/press release.

We here at Sierra County Prospect only publish press releases on issues we don’t really care about. We think these challenges from the community to HSRA are important.

To be clear, the opinions cursing HSRA with the closure of the SPI small log mill in Quincy are ill-informed. HSRA is not responsible for the economic downturn, nor for decisions made at SPI corporate headquarters. In difficult times it is often comforting to have a scapegoat to blame for problems arising beyond one’s understanding.

Further, it is the opinion of the Prospect that demonizing HSRA is counter-productive in the long run. Not only does it mask the real sources of our economic problems, it segregates an organization that espouses community participation, a potential ally in an effort to bring restrained growth to our county.

In other words, suppose tonight we march with pitchforks and torches on HSRA. In the morning, would the SPI small log mill open? Would the wealthy flock to Loyalton to invest and build? Nothing would change.

In addition to masking our real problem, blaming HSRA for our situation prevents us from taking meaningful positive action. How many of HSRA’s detractors have ever attended a meeting to provide input? How many have written letters to the editor publicly asking HSRA specific questions, or challenging specific rationales?

The reality of our situation is too dire for us to waste time pointing fingers at cousins. High Sierra has talent too valuable to be wasted. We encourage people to educate themselves on High Sierra Rural Alliance, to attend meetings, to join and influence policy decisions.

By educating themselves and joining HSRA, detractors will have a win-win situation. If, indeed, HSRA is the source of all our misery, they will prevent people from joining, refuse public participation, and we’ll know them for that, and exclude them from the social life of the county. If, on the other hand, they are well intentioned, they’ll welcome public participation and HSRA will be stronger, and we will have a better tool in the struggle to bring sustainable, locally focused growth to the county.

No government agency is going to save our county or our families, we all know that. Sierra County stays alive because people volunteer with boards, commissions and organizations to work for the best for all of us. High Sierra Rural Alliance is one of that family of organizations. We don’t kick cousins out of the family because we don’t like a few things they’ve done.

Here is the text of the HSRA response:






Since the announcement of the HSRA settlement with Sierra Pacific Industries and Sierra County, there have been a spate of letters-to-the-editor and an opinion piece in local newspapers implying that the closing of the SPI mill in Quincy and the loss of 150 jobs was caused by the litigation settlement between the parties. This is not true. The agreement which SPI proposed and was agreed to by HSRA and the County of Sierra resulted in:

  • 7000 acres of land zoned as Timber Production remaining in Timber Production Zone, and
  • Reimbursement of HSRA costs and attorney fees by SPI, $15,640.

Making sure productive timberland within reasonable distances of timber mills is not converted into other uses protects mill jobs. The monetary settlement consists of less than four months wages for one mill worker. SPI receives generous property tax deductions by having the land in Timber Production Zone rather than General Forest. This case did not cause the loss of 150 jobs at the SPI mill in Quincy or anywhere else.

For more information, please see:

Website Builder