News Briefs

Destination Stewardship Plan Introduced to Address Tourism, Outdoor Recreation Challenges

LAKE TAHOE

An unprecedented group of Lake Tahoe destination management, land management, and nonprofit organizations launched the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan with the signing of an agreement to create the first destination stewardship council for the greater Tahoe region. The plan outlines a comprehensive framework and sets in motion action priorities to better manage outdoor recreation and tourism and ensure the sustainability and preservation of an iconic natural treasure and its local community. 

The event capped an extensive stakeholder engagement and community visioning process that began in 2022 after the community felt immense challenges initially brought on by the Covid pandemic. The plan’s vision and actions were developed in collaboration with 17 regional organizations and participation of over 3,000 residents, visitors, and businesses through surveys, interviews, and workshops.

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The Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan establishes a shared vision for the region’s recreation and tourism system: A cherished place, welcoming to all, where people, communities, and nature benefit from a thriving tourism and outdoor recreation economy. The plan identifies 32 actions across four strategic pillars:

  • Foster a tourism economy that gives back
  • Turn a shared vision into shared action
  • Advance a culture of caring for the greater Lake Tahoe region
  • Improve the Tahoe experience for all

By implementing this plan, member organizations and Lake Tahoe communities will reinforce their commitment to responsible recreation and tourism practices, ensuring the continued enjoyment of this national treasure for generations to come.

“At its heart, this plan is about taking care of Tahoe for generations to come,” said Amy Berry, CEO of the Tahoe Fund. “With the entire region putting this strategy into action, we will be able to build a sustainable future for the Lake Tahoe environment that everyone can enjoy.”

To implement the plan, partners agreed to establish a Lake Tahoe Stewardship Council that will actively engage with stakeholders, residents, and visitors to foster a collective sense of responsibility towards the destination’s sustainability. The plan will be continuously reviewed, updated, and adapted to address emerging challenges and opportunities.

This summer, visitors and residents at Tahoe will see destination stewardship programs already working. Key programs include Take Care Ambassadors at recreation sites and trailheads, expanded litter clean ups, solar compacting trash cans, and coordinated stewardship education campaigns focused on visitors and outdoor recreation users.

For more information about the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan and to access the full plan document, please visit stewardshiptahoe.org.

The public can learn more about the plan at an upcoming online webinar on July 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. or by signing up for the enews at stewardshiptahoe.org.

The plan was developed in collaboration with 17 regional organizations, including the California Tahoe Conservancy, City of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation, North Tahoe Community Alliance, Placer County, Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, Tahoe Fund, Tahoe Prosperity Center, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Travel North Tahoe Nevada, USDA Forest Service – Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Visit Truckee-Tahoe, Washoe County, and Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.

~ TRPA press release 

Seasonal Fire Restrictions Take Effect June 26

TAHOE CITY

On June 26, Cal Fire Nevada Yuba Placer Unit (NEU) is suspending burn permits for the season. This is the trigger that prompts North Tahoe Fire Protection District, Meeks Bay Fire Protection District, and Alpine Springs County Water District to activate local fire restrictions that suspend the outdoor burning of solid fuels. The suspension remains in effect for the duration of fire season.

Following the adoption of the 2019 fire code, only natural gas or propane outdoor fire pits and barbecues, and pellet grills/smokers are allowed year-round except during red flag/critical fire weather conditions. All of these appliances must be utilized following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Open-flame devices such as tiki torches and all fireworks, including sparklers and firecrackers, are illegal in California year-round. For reports of hazardous/illegal campfires, people should call 911, and illegal firework activity should be reported to local law enforcement.

“Our heavy winter allowed us to delay the declaration of fire season by more than a month from the norm,” said NTFPD Fire Chief Steve Leighton. “A single heavy winter, despite all its benefits, brings an increase in vegetation growth that leads to a larger fuel load for wildfires when vegetation does dry out. We ask our residents and visitors to follow our seasonal ban on the outdoor burning of wood and charcoal, in addition to doing the work that makes homes resistant to embers and help make our community more resilient to wildfire. Our firefighters are always working hard to train and prepare for fire season, but it takes all of us working together throughout the season to Protect our Home, Prepare for Wildfire.”

During red flag/critical fire weather conditions, all sources of open flames, including natural gas or propane outdoor fire pits and barbecues, and pellet grills/smokers are prohibited. Information on red flag watches and warnings of critical fire weather in the Tahoe Basin can be found at National Weather Service, Reno.

NTFPD asks residents to prepare for wildfire by maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of defensible space around every structure. “Residents can increase the survivability of homes and neighborhoods from wildfire by managing vegetation and retrofitting structures to be more resistant to both surface fires and ember showers,” said NTFPD Fire Marshal Brent Armstrong. “We encourage residents to sign up for our no-cost defensible space inspections, and no-cost residential curbside chipping.”

For additional information on how to create defensible space, tips to prevent wildfires, and ways to prepare for emergencies and evacuations, visit tahoelivingwithfire.com.

~ North Tahoe Fire enews

Donner Pass Road Remains Closed

TRUCKEE

Donner Pass Road remains closed to through traffic just west of Donner Lake due to existing and potential unsafe rock fall on the roadway and is anticipated to extend into July. For the public’s safety, the rockfall area is closed to all activities such as hiking, biking, climbing, and driving, although many recreational opportunities and access to local businesses or restaurants remain available above and below the closed area. Residents can view the location of road closure on Public Works’ Road Conditions and Closures map at nevadacountyca.gov/roadclosures and find updates on Nevada County Public Works Facebook.

Nevada County Public Works is working quickly to thoroughly review detailed geological conditions and identify mitigation work to open the road up as soon as it is safe. Public works will provide an update as additional information is available. Meanwhile, please stay out of the closed area per signage at both ends of the road closure.

~ Nevada County press release 

Tahoe Fund Launches Campaign to Build Accessibility Ramp in Tahoe Meadows

TAHOE CITY

A boardwalk trail meanders through Tahoe Meadows near Mt. Rose summit, providing visitors with incredible views and signage about the local flora and fauna. Access to the boardwalk, however, is currently limited to those who can successfully navigate two sets of stairs. The Tahoe Fund has partnered with the Tahoe Meadows Access Ramp Committee to raise $150,000 for a new accessibility ramp to the boardwalks.

“A recent gap analysis commissioned by the Tahoe Fund on access and inclusion in the Tahoe region found what many already know — there are far fewer opportunities for all to enjoy the Tahoe environment,” said Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund Board CEO. “Thanks to the incredible generosity of Tahoe Fund donors Steve and Sandy Hardie, every dollar we receive will go twice as far to bring this access ramp to life and offer greater outdoor accessibility.”

The TMAR is working alongside the Truckee Meadows Park Foundation and the US Forest Service, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Carson Ranger District to build the ramp. Once all required funding and environmental approvals have been secured, plans are to begin construction this fall.

Every donation to this project will be matched up to $75,000. To give today, visit tahoefund.org/tahoemeadows.

~ Tahoe Fund press release 

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Up

IVGID Board of Trustees Approves General Manager Separation Agreement

INCLINE VILLAGE

The Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees approves terms of a separation agreement with General Manager Indra Winquest. IVGID’s Director of Finance Paul Navazio has been appointed to the acting general manager role.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we thank Indra for his service to IVGID,” said Board Chairman Matthew Dent. “We will begin the recruitment and hiring process immediately to keep IVGID moving in the best direction for our residents.”

Mr. Winquest has worked for IVGID for more than 20 years. He was originally hired in 2003 as the senior recreation clerk. He worked his way through the ranks of IVGID, having been promoted to recreation supervisor in 2005, parks and recreation superintendent in 2008, director of Parks and Recreation/Community Services in 2014, assistant general manager in 2019, and general manager in 2020.

“From IVGID rec clerk to general manager, it’s been an amazing career path to look back on,” said Winquest. “I’m thankful for all IVGID’s dedicated and talented staff that helped me succeed through the years.”

No agreement has been signed yet, and the draft terms contemplate Indra being placed on paid administrative leave until the separation date of July 1, 2023.

~ IVGID press release

Business Briefs

Electric Bike Share Comes to Truckee

TRUCKEE

BCycle, an industry leader in electric bike share operations and equipment used in communities around the country, is thrilled to bring bike share to Truckee, with full access to the system opening June 29.

The initial phase of the new Truckee BCycle system will feature 50 pedal-assist electric bikes available for checkout from and to park at 100 docks which are clustered at stations throughout Truckee. 

BCycle plans to introduce more docking stations throughout the community in future riding seasons. Stations will be located from Donner Lake to the Truckee River Legacy trailhead in Glenshire.

“We are extremely excited to be launching bike share in Truckee,” said Brian Conger, BCycle’s Executive Director. “Not only will it introduce a fun recreation option for residents and visitors but will also provide a convenient and eco-friendly transportation option for local commuters.”

The electric bikes, which feature a pedal-assist motor that propels riders up to a maximum assist of 17 mph, can be found and unlocked from docking stations using the BCycle mobile app. Riders can also use the BCycle app to plan bike-safe routes to their destination and find open docks to return their bike upon completion of their environmentally friendly trip.

The bike share system is scheduled to operate yearly from May through October, weather permitting, and will pause operations during the winter months.

BCycle is committed to making Truckee a more bike-friendly community by providing safe and sustainable transportation alternatives and encouraging residents and visitors to give electric bikes a try. For more information, download the BCycle app or visit truckee.bcycle.com to learn more.

~ BCycle press release

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