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Truckee: Whole Community Strategies for Climate Planning

Case Story

The Town of Truckee joined the Beacon Program in 2018 and has made significant achievements in a short amount of time, earning a prestigious full Beacon award in 2019. Situated near both Reno and Lake Tahoe, Truckee is a quaint mountain town known for its local art, artisanal food scene and outdoor recreation opportunities. Truckee has long preserved the natural beauty of the town by encouraging its residents to live green. Committed to sustainability and community engagement, Truckee provides ample opportunity for community engagement in climate action activities. The town has ensured walkability and bikeability for residents and visitors, offers recycling and waste reduction programs, has set ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction and renewable energy goals.

In 2019, Truckee partnered with ClimateWise, a national initiative of the Geos Institute, to develop “Whole Community” strategies to address climate change via a Climate Adaptation Plan. Through a multitude of community and stakeholder engagements, community members shaped adaptation strategies and climate change solutions to address the climate-related impacts unique to the town. Simultaneously, Truckee is leveraging these strategies and solutions to develop its first Climate Action Plan, also driven by community engagement, but through a different stakeholder advisory group.  

Building upon the Climate Adaptation and Climate Action Plan, Truckee is updating its General Plan to incorporate strategies for reducing GHG emissions while preparing for a changing climate. The Truckee 2040 General Plan and Downtown Specific Plan aims to expand current goals and incorporate new community visions for housing affordability and sustainability, as well as identifying climate change resiliency and adaptation policies identified during community workshops. Proposed policies include: electric vehicle chargers; bike-sharing; a mix of housing types; enhanced roads and trails; and managing growth while enhancing the small, mountain town community feel. The town maintains a visioning forum on the Truckee 2040 General Plan website, with updated information and a designated place to share ideas. This forum engages community members through idea mapping, surveys and a discussion board.

The Truckee 2040 General Plan, Climate Adaptation Plan and Climate Action Plan is paving the way for a more resilient and engaged community. 

Beacon Accomplishments

The Town of Truckee was the Beacon Program’s biggest winner in 2019, taking home a spotlight award in every category and a full Beacon award at the silver level.  The town achieved a gold spotlight award in agency energy savings (13% savings), silver spotlight award in natural gas savings (6% savings), gold spotlight award in agency greenhouse gas reductions (12%), platinum spotlight award in community greenhouse gas reductions (33%), and graduated from silver to gold in sustainability best practices.  Each of these impressive accomplishments earned the town the prestigious full Beacon award at the silver level. Much of the credit needs to be given to the Town’s utility provider, Truckee Donner PUD, for its commitment to sourcing renewable energy and consistently delivers nearly 70% renewable power to Truckee residents.

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