The show of hands at Saturday's Tahoe Regional Planning Agency visioning workshop in Incline raised the reminder that everyone was in attendance for the same reason - because they care about the lake. Why, then, is there still abundant opposition to Pathway 2007, the multi-agency effort to chart a plan for Lake Tahoe's future?Pathway 2007 is headed in the right direction, and we need to get behind it to ensure a better future for the lake and its communities. Let's take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to be involved in the planning process and choose the right path - to support Pathway 2007.Many are skeptical that a 43-member forum can come to a consensus. Many cite TRPA's unfavorable history as hindering the process, and many say the board does whatever it wants despite staff's advice. Some call TRPA a bureaucratic nightmare and envision "just the same old thing" with Pathway's collaborative planning process. Pathway is a joint effort between the TRPA, U.S. Forest Service, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, but many assume TRPA is controlling the process. Well, as officials from the TRPA say, this is not business as usual for the agency. No matter what your biases, those interested in the future of Lake Tahoe should give Pathway a chance. So far, it has done a great job of collecting information and gathering public input. With visioning workshops in South Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, Incline Village, Las Vegas and next weekend in San Francisco, no one can doubt that TRPA is trying to do things right this time. With our support, it can succeed.And this is only the beginning. Visioning workshops are just one element of the planning process. Pathway also includes public meetings, workshops and focused advisory groups on planning, technical and policy issues. Surveys are available online for participants to answer questions about TRPA's thresholds and to give other feedback. Skeptics can be watchful, but should also be supportive. TRPA and the three other agencies involved in Pathway are doing a good job of listening, let's give them a chance. Visit www.Pathway2007.org for more information.
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