2010 Lake Tahoe Summit | Keep Tahoe profitable? | TahoeDailyTribune.com

2010 Lake Tahoe Summit | Keep Tahoe profitable?

Matthew Renda
U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks to several hundred people gathered Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010, at the Sand Harbor State Park's Shakespeare Festival Amphitheater, near Incline Village, Nev. for the annual Tahoe Summit. The event focuses on environmental and economic issues facing the Lake Tahoe basin. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)
AP | FR70203 AP

INCLINE VILLAGE – In addition to the environmental challenges facing Lake Tahoe, Sen. Harry Reid also spoke about rejuvenating Tahoe’s slumping economy during his speech at the 2010 Lake Tahoe Summit.

“The focus needs to remain on the environment of Lake Tahoe, but we must also focus on jobs,” said Reid, D-Nev., who organized this year’s summit at Sand Harbor State Park.

The U.S. Senate Majority Leader said in the summit’s 14-year history the focus has been on the environment. However, economic prosperity can be used to fund public and private preservation efforts, Reid said.

“This year, I wanted to expand our vision,” Reid said. “We all know people who have lost their jobs and their homes. We all know small businesses that have closed their doors. And we all know that while the Lake Tahoe Basin is a very special place, it is not immune to what is happening everywhere else in Nevada and California and across the country.”

Reid said the renewed focus on economic prosperity is not meant to displace the environmental focus – but strengthen it.

“Simply put, protecting Lake Tahoe is the right thing to do environmentally and economically,” Reid said.

Reid invited Trish Kelly of the Sacramento-based economic development firm Applied Development Economics to speak regarding the need for the environment, economy and society of the Lake Tahoe Basin – often called the triple bottom line of Lake Tahoe – to advance together.

Kelly is one of the principal organizers of the Lake Tahoe Basin Prosperity Plan, which assessed the basin as one economic region and identified means of stimulating economic growth.

Collaboration between the public and private sectors to achieve environmental improvement and long-term ecological integrity was a central message of the summit.

“This series has been so productive because we have developed model public-private partnerships,” Reid said. “We’ve brought together environmentalists, business leaders, and state and federal agencies.”

The lake’s economy and environment are inexorably linked, Reid said. The pristine natural beauty of the lake is what attracts tourists, who in turn contribute to local businesses. He also said the money invested by tourists can be used to better the basin.

“The work we have done to preserve the beauty and natural wonder of this magnificent place will ensure it will be an attraction for generations to come,” he said.

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