2010 Lake Tahoe Summit | $415 million to keep Tahoe blue pending congressional approval | TahoeDailyTribune.com

2010 Lake Tahoe Summit | $415 million to keep Tahoe blue pending congressional approval

Matthew Renda

INCLINE VILLAGE – Another $415 million to keep Tahoe blue is pending congressional approval, Sen. Harry Reid said at Tuesday’s 2010 Lake Tahoe Summit.

Federal, state and local sources have contributed more than $1.5 billion to improving Tahoe’s environment since the first Lake Tahoe Summit in 1997, said Reid, D-Nev.

A large part of the sum comes from the $424 million Lake Tahoe Restoration Act, passed in 2000. An eight-year extension of the act, which would authorize another $415 million, is pending in Congress.

“Right now we’re working to renew that legislation, which continue the work on invasive species, improving water clarity and helping to prevent the possible devastation from wildfires,” Reid said.

The renewal for the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act should come before the Senate for a vote in 2011. Reid, Ensign and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., pledged support for the bill during the summit.

Additionally, the states of Nevada and California have pledged $100 million each in support of the act, Feinstein said.

Much of the funding for scientific projects has come from the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act, which uses dollars collected from public land sales in southern Nevada to fund environmentally focused projects in Northern Nevada.

Land sales in the southern portion of Nevada have slowed and funds will be more difficult to obtain, cautioned Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., one of the primary architects of the SNPLMA program.

Nevertheless, he affirmed the commitment to Tahoe-based environmental programs and the commitment to providing money for future projects.

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