Letter: Tahoe is a priority – in California, Nevada and Washington DC | South Lake Tahoe
Lists can be very helpful. They are simple. They get straight to the point.
An all-too-familiar way of telling the past 18 months is to list the terrible and unthinkable things our society and community have been through: a pandemic, economic hardship, social unrest, historic wildfires, and environmental damage – even here in our beloved Tahoe Basin.
On the eve of the 25th annual Lake Tahoe Summit, and with an optimistic eye, we offer a different way to read this list. The bullets of doom and gloom provide a stark contrast – like glowing letters on a dark background – to show just how much Lake Tahoe means to so many people, especially recently. It is a refuge, a source of energy and a place to find peace. It is our home, our playground and an economic lifeline. Tahoe also reminds us to appreciate all we have and that we must work together to protect it.
Tahoe provides so much for each of us, so we need to respond to it. We are delighted to share that last week the United States House of Representatives passed a bill providing more than $ 25 million in funding for Tahoe under the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act of 2016, an increase of almost $ 10 million from last year’s allocation. The much-needed dollars will support environmental restoration and infrastructure works that create approximately 1,700 jobs in the Lake Tahoe Basin each year.
Of course, here’s a list that details the benefits for Tahoe:
– $ 7,000,000 for water infrastructure that supports fire suppression
– $ 6,088,000 for the management of aquatic invasive species
– $ 6,500,000 for watershed management
– $ 6,000,000 for forest health programs
– TOTAL: $ 25.588 M, an increase of $ 9.5 M over the previous year
The leadership of Representative Mark Amodei of Nevada, with the support of Representatives John Garamendi of California and Steven Horsford of Nevada, has been instrumental in promoting this robust level of funding with the House Appropriations Committee. The continued support of our entire Tahoe family, including Representatives Tom McClintock of California, and Susie Lee and Dina Titus of Nevada, continues to be critical to our long term success.
This victory is an important step in a long process. Nor is it the only effort to provide the necessary funding for environmental protection and habitat restoration programs in Tahoe.
In May of this year, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Representative Mark Amodei of Nevada introduced bipartite and bicameral legislation to extend the authorization of the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act of 2016. Legislation is a key avenue for expanding the positive impacts the Lake Tahoe Restoration Acts of 2000 and 2016 had on the environment and the Tahoe community – especially by keeping the pipeline open for hundreds of millions of dollars. to complete critical environmental work left behind, and to make Tahoe resilient to the unprecedented impacts of climate change.
The Lake Tahoe Partnership, coordinated by the League to Save Lake Tahoe, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Tahoe Chamber, along with our many partners, will continue to drive these two efforts. Working with the community and our elected representatives, we will add to the long list of things that make Tahoe a national treasure. To learn more, visit keeptahoeblue.org/ltra2021.
– Darcie Goodman Collins, PhD is Executive Director of League to Save Lake Tahoe / Keep Tahoe Blue. Joanne S. Marchetta is Executive Director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Steve Teshara is Managing Director of the Tahoe Chamber.