The Lake Tahoe Restoration Act has been a keystone of the effort to protect and restore Lake Tahoe's clarity. The League strongly supports this legislation, which comes on the heels of California and Nevada renewing their commitment to cooperation on Lake Tahoe's environmental goals.
The League plays a leading role in advocating for public investment in restoration projects included in the Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program. The EIP was established in 1997 as a coordinated effort designed to protect and restore Lake Tahoe’s natural resources. The program includes a list of erosion control, land acquisition, watershed, and forest ecosystem restoration projects. The League views the funding of this program, and the identification of priority projects, as key components in saving Lake Tahoe.
As a member of the Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Committee, the League works to ensure that federal funding is allocated to projects and programs that directly improve the environment in the Tahoe Basin. The LTFAC was established under President Clinton to advise the federal government on Tahoe’s priorities, and the League's participation greatly strengthens the recommendations of the local community group by assuring decision makers that regional environmental activists will support them.
Should California and Nevada have the same environmental rules protecting Lake Tahoe? We think so. In May 2013 the governors of California and Nevada announced compromise legislation that renews the states' commitment to uniform regulation.
Lake Tahoe Restoration Act of 2000: $300 million for Lake Tahoe's environment
The League worked closely with Tahoe’s congressional representatives, led by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and including Nevada Sens. Harry Reid and John Ensign, to pass the first Lake Tahoe Restoration Act of 2000, which authorized the federal government to share in the funding of the Environmental Improvement Program.
For LTRA's reauthorization (still pending in Congress), the League successfully promoted the inclusion of language to commit the local unit of the Forest Service to the achievement of Lake Tahoe’s environmental standards, to withdraw the area from new mining claims, and to enhance protections for water quality and soils in the implementation of forest projects.
Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act
The Tahoe Amendment to the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act has dramatically changed the outlook for funding the federal portion of the Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program. The Tahoe Amendment, which was sponsored by Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign, allows for a small portion of funding generated by federal land sales in southern Nevada to be used for Tahoe restoration projects. Over $37 million per year is available through SNPLMA, but the funding is not guaranteed. The League strongly supported the Tahoe Amendment through its development and now works hard to ensure funding continues.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 13 (SCR 13)
California's SCR 13 passed the state legislature in 2009. The resolution, authored by Senate President Pro tem Darrell Steinberg, creates a joint legislative committee to oversee California's active role in the budgetary and policy matters related to the protection of Lake Tahoe. The creation of the Joint Committee provides us all with the assurance that the state of California, through hands-on involvement by the state legislature, will follow through with its commitment to protect the clarity and health of Lake Tahoe. The League was a strong supporter of the bill and we are thrilled about its passage. Thanks to all of you who submitted comments throughout the legislative process.
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