In relationships, it takes the accumulation of many incidents to hit that final straw. In this case, four years of relentless attacks on a Nevada redevelopment project set to lead sustainable development "broke the camel's back."
Nevada feels redevelopment abuse. California resents Nevada for the lion's share of TOT money (Transient Occupancy Tax). While Nevada has more pre-existing buildable land, much of California infrastructure exists on SEZ (Stream Environmental Zones). "Unfair" sharing of these assets and liabilities, plus uneven regulatory representation, escalated decades of unresolved tensions and resentments to the abyss of divorce.
The first exhale of severed obligations feels like freedom to do your own thing, without having to answer to that "oppressive, spoiled or controlling partner, because you showed 'em?" Then "in-laws" - NEPA and CEPA - weigh in, despite each state's own development/mitigation playbook. And what about custody? Has anyone sat with the lake to explain why severing a 40-year collaboration for unknown repercussions is best?
After witnessing many of the inflictions still bleeding, I agree - a shift is in order. The TRPA Regional Plan Update demonstrates motivation is high. But divorce? Really? Isn't it hard enough to have a single source of the world's most precious drinking water already under the diverse directives of two states, five counties, one city and two federal agencies? So further divide and polarize? In nature, diversity works together to increase ecosystem stability.
Last year Sustainable Tahoe enrolled 15 NGOs, 12 agencies and 35 business from South Lake to Pyramid Lake to collaborate in showcasing our unique water, land, wildlife, culture and heritage. Together we created a region-wide demonstration of how prosperity with water clarity is possible! So before we pull farther apart, consider what is at stake ... one watershed with one majestic lake.
Jacquie Chandler, Incline Village
Executive Director, Sustainable Tahoe