In response to Tahoe Keys and the Fight to Put Toxic Chemicals in Lake Tahoe, My Shot opinion piece by Julie Soules and Elise Fett
Let’s Take Our Chance
Aquatic invasive species — weeds, fish and clams — are the greatest ecological threat to Lake Tahoe. On the south shore, the Tahoe Keys’ man-made lagoons are ground zero for the infestation of aquatic invasive weeds in Tahoe, and the problem is spreading. More than 100 acres of the lake itself are infected. The methods used thus far to tackle the weeds haven’t worked. So, we must try something new before Tahoe crosses the tipping point. Once Lake Tahoe’s waters go green, there’s no way to turn them back.
In mid-January, a proposal to test a wide range of weed control methods comes up for approval. The “Control Methods Test” includes a suite of proven technologies from around the world, along with emerging methods and new combinations of these treatments — including ultraviolet light, laminar flow aeration, and a one-time, targeted use of herbicides in enclosed, dead-end lagoons — to reveal how we can beat back the weeds and protect the lake. The test has been through more than a year of strict environmental, scientific and regulatory review to get to this point.
The community, agencies, and everyone involved with the proposal is approaching the possible use of herbicides with caution and care, and that’s exactly as it should be. No one takes the Tahoe Basin’s ecological health more seriously than the League to Save Lake Tahoe. We support the test because science clearly shows that aquatic weeds pose a dire threat, the status quo will not solve the problem, strict controls will safeguard the environment during the trials, and the fate of Lake Tahoe is at stake.
The project’s environmental studies conclude that taking no action, or continuing what’s being done now, will result in the most harmful outcome for the lake. This test gives us the chance to avoid the worst. Let’s take it.
~ Darcie Goodman Collins, PhD, CEO, League to Save Lake Tahoe/Keep Tahoe Blue, via letter
In response to Hirschdale property debate
Access to Public Land
I am one of the founders of the Truckee River Alliance, a coalition of Truckee local river enthusiasts, fisher-people, kayakers, rafters, hikers, and swimmers who share a concern about the loss of access along the Truckee River, particularly the recent loss of the historically important recreation section downstream of Hirschdale. Myself, as well as members of Trout Unlimited, American Whitewater, the Tahoe Pyramid Bike Trail, and others have been part of a stakeholder work group that Nevada County put together to try to figure out ways to restore recreation access recently loss due to a new land owner. Since his purchase of eight parcels of riverfront land two years ago that most assumed was publicly owned, the owner has blocked all access to federal and state lands beyond his property with 36+ tons of boulders, a lot of threatening signage, armed hired patrol, a gate, and video cameras. In a recent incident, a man was followed back to his Glenshire residence after an encounter with an armed patrolman and more recently guns were actually fired into the air by his patrol.
People have been using this river access land to teach their kids fishing, kayaking, rafting, and swimming for generations. One of the critical pieces of the story is that Nevada County received funding of just under $10 million to replace the condemned bridges in Hirschdale, and they plan to break ground in 2022 to replace these bridges. Years before the new land owner purchased the properties, community members lobbied to not just remove the bridges, but to replace them because of the critical recreation access they provide to the river and the Tahoe Pyramid Trail. Now, in a hurry to use the allotted funds for this project, the county communications representative is stating that they do not have to provide recreation access when they replace the bridges. Doing so will effectively only serve the property owner … to the tune of 9 million taxpayer dollars.
The Truckee River Alliance has met with the property owner and offered to work out long term remediation of previous issues with trash, etc. at the river access points, but the property owner has been thus far unresponsive to requests to restore historic public access. As such we are reaching out to Moonshine Ink to try to inform the public of this $9 million potential boondoggle before it comes to fruition.
~ Erik Johnson, via letter
In response to Rescuing the Rescuers
TNSAR Stepped Up
Measure twice, cut (or order) once? Grateful community resolved the challenge!
~ Susan Walls, Reno, via Facebook