100 year mark for Tahoe-government deal
A milestone for conservation and preservation at Lake Tahoe occurred on this date – 100 years ago.
On April 13, 1899, at a time when massive parts of the Lake Tahoe Basin had been clear-cut, the president of the United States signed a proclamation that created the Lake Tahoe Forest Reserve.
The act set aside 136,000 acres on the lake’s southwestern shore for federal management. It included what is now Desolation Wilderness and parts of the Eldorado National Forest.
The proclamation was the beginning of federal activity to protect and manage land in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
It was a controversial, contentious issue at the time and required the consensus of various involved parties before it was adopted.
“Right at the very beginning, we see a trend that has stayed right up until the present and hopefully into the future – public involvement in discussions on issues,” said Linda Massey, public affairs coordinator for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.”
The act led way for a series of changes, and federal participation in the basin grew.
Of the 250,000 acres of land in the Lake Tahoe Basin, the Forest Service now manages about 78 percent.
To Juan Palma, supervisor of the Lake Tahoe unit, the 100th anniversary serves not only as a reminder of what has happened but also what is to come.
“In terms of where we are going in the next hundred years, I see us as a model for sustainable resource management,” Palma said. “How is that? To me, we are reacting to the public’s demand within the Lake Tahoe Basin. We are reacting to public demand in terms of water clarity, recreation management, restoration of natural resources. I see us being able to provide a high-quality recreation experience and, at the same time, take care of these lands. I see the Lake Tahoe Basin serving as a model for public involvement and public participation.”
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