We live in an area that is loved and visited by many. Sharing our natural resources is something locals have always taken pride in. It gives us great satisfaction to see the smiles on visitor faces, eyes in bright wonderment. So I am disconcerted when I see destruction of our jewel.
I look beyond why I love the Big Lake and seek to understand why others come here.

The question is: Why do you come to Lake Tahoe? To picnic, ponder, paddle, pursue beauty, or perhaps peruse. How would you feel if your sought experience were dampened or destroyed? Do you leave with a new mental and emotional memory? Some experiences over these past few years have not been appetizing to my senses.


How about this headline: “Used Baby Diaper Left on Pristine Beach!” What do you picture now? Could a person actually leave this there for others to pick up? Are they thinking the high water in the future will wash it into our beautiful clear blue water? I cringe at the thought. It is disappointing and disparaging that some have no conscience of their actions.

How can a car tire actually appear on the south beach of Emerald Bay? Would a driver literally toss this down the hillside without thought or regard? I am puzzled that one would not hold in high integrity the beauty of our Lake in the Sky. Arriving on another beach, my husband and I find the contents of an ice chest: three beer bottles and caps strewn in the sand, litter from a lunch, napkins rolling down the beach, children’s snack wrappers, and a child’s toy. Farther on we discover a child’s top, a pair of men’s underwear. Was there an urgent need to leave without taking what they brought?

The narcissistic mentality to leave this for others to pick up is an abomination. Who do they think is going to pick up their trash? How can you not take this with you? I am saddened by the lack of respect for this coveted wonder. By writing this I hope others will make conscious decisions. Please, “take only your memories and leave only your footprints.” I encourage you to make that your credo and help maintain lasting special experiences for all.

~ Roxanne Duffield is a 36-year Truckee resident.


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