150 years ago, the United States Government gave away tens of thousands of acres to four landowners near Truckee as compensation for the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Now, the Truckee Donner Land Trust is trying to conserve that land. It has already bought up 24,000 and it just received a $5 million grant that will allow it to buy 3000 more acres. Perry Norris is the trust's executive director.
NORRIS: "We probably have another 30,000 acres at least that we're eyeing. Most of that is checkerboard lands, basically from the desolation wilderness north to the Sierra Buttes."
Norris says the parcels the trust is buying are "checkerboard" because the government gave away every fourth parcel of land to each of the four landowners.
The land is a mix of meadows, desert, and forest. It also has some historical monuments, including the Weber Lake Hotel and the Emigrant Trail.
The Wildlife Conservation Board awarded the grant.