Urgent Action Needed to Save Animals Lives In Overcapacity Crisis
In a joint effort to combat an overwhelming overcapacity crisis, Washoe County Regional Animal Services and Nevada Humane Society wish to issue a heartfelt plea for immediate community support. WCRAS is facing an unprecedented challenge as, after over a week of operating at critical capacity, on Tuesday May 30, WCRAS dog kennels reached 100% capacity, and more dogs are continuing to arrive with nowhere to go. While WCRAS isn’t an adoption agency, the animals that do not get reclaimed from WCRAS are made available for adoption by Nevada Humane Society, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Northern Nevada, and many rescue group partners throughout our region. Many of these partnering shelters are also full.
WCRAS is incredibly saddened to have to consider the possibility of euthanasia to create space for incoming animals.
Understanding the power of community involvement in saving lives, WCRAS and NHS are appealing to the collective compassion of the local community. Together, they call upon all caring individuals in the area to rally behind this critical cause and make a lifesaving impact. To address the pressing crisis, WCRAS and NHS urge the community to help by:
- Pet owners are urged to promptly retrieve their pets from WCRAS. You can view lost and found pets on WCRAS website at 24petconnect.com/wshofound.
- If community members find a lost dog, both organizations encourage leaving no stone unturned in efforts to reunite them with their owners. Visiting a public microchip scanning station, creating an online found pet report with WCRAS, and temporarily holding the pet for up to 48 hours can provide invaluable time. For more information, visit helpingpetshome.com.
- By adopting, community members not only offer a second chance to a deserving pet but also create a valuable flow of animals through our shelters and into new homes.
- For individuals unable to adopt a pet, fostering offers a temporary yet impactful solution.
- Volunteering offers a meaningful way to support the animals in the community when adoption or fostering may not be feasible.
- Animals in shelters benefit greatly from donations of not only monetary value but also food, toys, bedding, and more.
~ Washoe County enews
Implementation Plan for Highway Transit Improvements
NORTH LAKE TAHOE
Placer County is continuing efforts to address traffic concerns and enhance transit along state routes 89 and 267 in North Lake Tahoe with short-term and long-term improvements.
The Placer County Board of Supervisors recently approved a $511,838 contract with Wood Rodgers to create a strategic implementation and phasing plan to advance implementation along the two corridors, both of which connect Interstate 80 to North Lake Tahoe. The plan will include collaboration with stakeholder groups such as Caltrans, the Town of Truckee, emergency responders, local businesses, and residents in the region.
The plan will expand on the transportation recommendations provided in the county’s Resort Triangle Transportation Plan that the board approved in October 2020. The RTTP outlined initiatives to reduce traffic, get people out of their cars, encourage alternative commuting options, and address congestion.
The plan will measure four key enhancements from the RTTP, including a proposal to provide priority for transit vehicles at traffic signals, lanes that allow for transit vehicles to jump ahead in the queue at intersections, a reversible bus-only lane between intersections, and a dedicated “climbing lane” for buses and trucks over Brockway Summit on state Route 267. The plan will also refine design considerations and designate which options provide the most benefit for residents along each corridor.
“Essentially, this plan will give the county and our partners a clear picture of what improvements will give us the biggest benefits and what we should focus on implementing first,” said Placer’s Public Works Deputy Director Rebecca Taber. “Our goal is to ease traffic impacts during peak periods by ensuring our transit solutions get priority along each state route.”
Aspects of the plan will include transportation planning and traffic engineering associated with transit systems, traffic signal operation, and modeling. The engineering firm will also study right-of-way elements, climate impacts, community evacuation, Caltrans assistance, funding, programming, scheduling, and preliminary environmental impact analysis.
The plan will determine the most viable alternatives for implementing project components in both the near term and the long term.“We’ve heard from our local residents — this is a priority and we’re excited to get this plan started and begin implementing solutions as soon as possible,” added Taber.
To learn more about the county’s work along State Routes 89 and 267, visit placer.ca.gov.
~ Placer County press release
National Forest Extends Seasonal Road, Trail Closures
Tahoe National Forest has extended its seasonal road and trail closures through June 15. Closed routes are located generally above 5,000-feet elevation with closures necessary due to overly wet conditions and existing snowpack. The closures aim to protect trails and roadbeds from additional resource damage, reduce maintenance costs, and protect water quality.
The forest has responded to several calls of individuals getting stuck in ruts, snow, or muddy trail conditions. The closures outlined below are also an effort to reduce the impact on federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, search and rescue, and emergency medical services.
“We have surveyed higher elevation roads and trails on the Tahoe National Forest and found significant late-season soil saturation, standing water, and snow drifts on several routes,” said Tahoe National Forest Trails Program Manager Joe Chavez. “We found evidence of individuals driving on overly saturated routes and even off designated routes to get around snow and standing water at times, causing significant damage to roads and often getting stuck. The extension of the seasonal closure on impacted routes will reduce further resource damage and needed repairs to our roads and trails.”
The Tahoe National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Maps are available here and outline what types of motor vehicles are allowed on national forest roads and trails and when and where they are allowed. Not all closed routes are blocked with gates or closure signage. Routes that are free from snow may be passable in the morning but thaw and be impassible as the day progresses.
The Tahoe National Forest extended its seasonal road and trail closures due to wet conditions earlier this spring, with this extension reflecting only routes that continue to be impacted by snow and overly wet conditions.
Violation of the closure order is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both. Even on open routes, users that cause significant damage to roads may be cited and/or held liable to cover the cost of repairs.
View the full forest order and closure map here.
~ Tahoe National Forest press release
New All-Encompassing Local Website
NORTH LAKE TAHOE
It just got easier to find resources and county information specific to North Lake Tahoe.
Placer County officially launched its new Tahoe-specific website, just in time for summer. Residents and visitors alike will now be able to access county information, resources, and programs all in one place with an easy-to-read menu and simple navigation.
From the new North Lake Tahoe county homepage, users can scroll through the latest news, get a list of county projects, find free transportation resources, scan seasonal information, and learn about regional stewardship or the short-term rental program. You can also examine drop-down menus from community services, housing, recreation, planning and projects, and transportation. Each drop-down includes programs and services, projects, planning documents and regional partners.
“This user-friendly website is the perfect resource for residents and visitors in Tahoe,” Placer County Executive Officer Jane Christenson said. “It’s intuitive, easy to use, and shares pertinent information about our county services and programs in Tahoe City, Kings Beach, and throughout the Tahoe Basin. I encourage you to visit the site, check out the useful tabs, explore project pages, and discover something new.”
A special feature of the new site includes two project pages with helpful maps. These feature information on county development projects throughout the Basin, including trails and parks, housing, transportation, and a separate page details private projects in the region.The county also plans to launch a monthly e-newsletter dedicated to North Lake Tahoe news and updates. Sign up to start seeing monthly updates beginning in July.
~ Placer County press release
Sheriff’s Office Makes Firearms Arrest
Just after 1 p.m. on May 19, upon receiving an assist call, Placer County Sheriff’s deputies swiftly responded to the Cobblestone Movie Theater in Tahoe City. Steven Siig, the concerned citizen who made the call, sought clarification on California’s open-carry laws after witnessing a male openly displaying a firearm on his hip while walking around the theater premises. It was promptly reported that the individual was preparing to depart in his vehicle.
As the deputies responded to the scene, they immediately spotted the vehicle and proceeded to conduct a traffic stop. The suspect was detained, revealing a loaded handgun holstered on his hip. A subsequent search of the suspect’s vehicle uncovered two additional loaded handguns within the driver’s door pocket and a rifle accompanied by four loaded high-capacity magazines in the trunk. It is important to note the possession of that specific rifle is considered illegal in the state of California, and its transportation across state lines constitutes a felony offense.
Furthermore, during the search, deputies made another discovery — an assortment of prescription bottles and various plastic bags containing a substantial quantity of pills were found within the vehicle. As the investigation progressed, it came to light that the individual in question, identified as 42-year-old Thomas Alexander of Oregon, had been inquiring about the movie theater’s customer arrival times. Consequently, Alexander was arrested on multiple charges, including carrying a loaded firearm in public, illegal possession of a rifle, transporting the rifle, possession of a controlled substance, and several other associated offenses.
~ Placer County Sheriff’s Office
Town Reviews SB1 Local Street and Road Improvement Project List
In April, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1, also known as the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. To address basic road maintenance, rehabilitation, and critical safety needs on both the state and local road systems, SB 1 increases fuel excise taxes, diesel fuel sales taxes, and vehicle registration fees.
At the June 13 meeting, the Town of Truckee Town Council will review a proposal to use funds generated by SB 1 for both the Railyard Mobility Hub Project and the West River Street Streetscape Improvement Project.
The Railyard Mobility Hub Project includes design and construction of pavement for circulation, transit vehicle pull-outs, curb and gutter and pedestrian circulation, space for future public art, transit shelters, landscaping, restrooms, bike racks, a parking lot, electric vehicle charging stations, and a transit center station on Church Street at the North Balloon Track of the Truckee Railyard Master Plan area.
The West River Street Streetscape Improvement Project includes design and construction of streetscape improvements (paving, curb, gutter, sidewalk, landscaping, utility undergrounding, and parking improvements) on West River Street from Bridge Street to Mill Street/Riverside Drive intersection. The SB1 funds are potentially proposed to be used for construction. The SB1 funds are potentially proposed to be used for construction for both projects.
The staff report may be found on the Town of Truckee website on June 9, the Friday before the Town Council meeting.
~ Town of Truckee press release
Wildfire Planning Survey
Nevada County Office of Emergency Services is investing substantial grant funding in three critical wildfire and multi-hazard strategic plans: an update to the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, an update to the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, and for the first time, launching a Nevada County Evacuation Study. Nevada County residents are encouraged to participate in a survey, available in English and Spanish, from June 1 through August 31, to provide input in the process.
Updated plans are not only essential for providing a framework for prioritizing the community’s most tangible solutions, they are also important for establishing eligibility for grant funding.
“We see these concurrent plan updates and evacuation study as an incredible opportunity for Nevada County to leverage technical analysis and community input to put our best foot forward,” says Craig Griesbach, OES Director.
Local government, special districts, and community nonprofits use these plans to guide project development and demonstrate priorities to potential funders when pursuing grants. Each of these plans is intended to be developed collaboratively with a host of stakeholders to ensure the broadest cross-section of community expertise and experience is captured.
This year, Nevada County received $250,000 from the Community Wildfire Defense Grant to update the CWPP. Nevada County also received $112,500 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to update the LHMP.
Nevada County has unique challenges when it comes to evacuation which is why Cal Fire granted $135,422 to develop an evacuation study.
To learn more about the Roadmap to Resilience, visit readynevadacounty.org.
~ Nevada County press release
Peregrine Falcons Return
The peregrine falcons are back! For many years, these falcons return each spring to Tahoe’s rocky outcroppings to take care of their young. This year, peregrine falcons have returned to their Castle Rock nest. Castle Rock is a connector trail, vista point, and recreational climbing area on the Tahoe Rim Trail near Kingsbury North Trailhead.
Peregrine falcons are a shining example of community effort and conservation messaging in Lake Tahoe. Previously endangered, the falcons have seen a rebound in population due to safe practices to give their nesting young ample space.
Look out for signage indicating you are entering peregrine nesting grounds. Passionate Tahoe citizens have worked hard to bring this species back from endangerment. It’s up to us to protect these majestic raptors.
What can we do to protect this species?
- If climbing, be aware of birds acting disturbed and retreat when necessary.
- Do not walk on the top of Castle Rock.
- Do not use drones at the top of Castle Rock. You may be too close to the nest if you hear loud bird calls or see raptors diving. Please return the way you came.
- Keep in mind that you may encounter peregrines, not only at Castle Rock but also nesting in other tall rocky outcroppings all around Tahoe.
~ Tahoe Rim Trail Association press release
New Trail Finder App
The Nevada County Board of Supervisors proclaimed June as “Celebration of Trails Month” in Nevada County, which recognizes the incredible benefits trails provide local residents and visitors. To celebrate, the county is launching the new Nevada County Trail Finder App to help users discover public access trails throughout Nevada County.
The Nevada County Trail Finder App serves as a recreational resource for connecting people with the outdoors and vast network of trails in Nevada County. The mobile-responsive app utilizes GIS datasets that identify managing agencies, surface types, and permitted uses like hiking, biking, equestrian, and off-highway vehicles.
To sign up for Nevada County recreation news and access the new Trail Finder App, visit nevadacountyca.gov/recreation.
~ Nevada County enews