27th annual Lake Tahoe Summit examines climate crisis impact on the basin, path to restoration and preservation

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi greeting Generation Green students.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

KINGS BEACH, Calif.— The 27th annual Lake Tahoe Summit was held at the Kings Beach Recreation Area Wednesday, Aug. 9. The bi-partisan, bi-state coalition of local, state, federal, Tribal, and environmental leaders were able to gather to discuss the importance of sustainable solutions to combat climate crisis and local community issues in Lake Tahoe. 

This year’s summit, “Protecting Lake Tahoe Sustainability and Stewardship in the Face of the Climate Crisis,” was hosted by U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, who was joined by many of his colleagues including Speaker Emerita Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, and Senator Jackie Rosen, among many others. The summit was able to highlight the urgent need to extend the authorization of the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act through 2034 in order to keep allocating funds and approving projects that lead to the restoration and preservation of Lake Tahoe. 

It was noted by many speakers that as of late, Lake Tahoe has experienced incredible highs and lows in climate events, a lingering trace that the Basin has not been spared by climate change. 

Senator Alex Padilla hosted the summit.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

“From the embers of the Caldor Fire to the snowpack from historic winters, Lake Tahoe knows personally the extraordinary weather whiplash that can tear through our state, all made worse by the climate crisis,” said Senator Padilla. “I am proud of the work the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program is doing to protect the Tahoe Basin, set the standard for interstate environmental restoration, and draw hundreds of millions of dollars to the region. I look forward to passing the Lake Tahoe Restoration Reauthorization Act and continuing to advocate for policies that renew America’s commitment to protecting our plant for our children’s generation and beyond.” 

Focus on future generations was incredibly important during the summit, as the Generation Green students were awarded with certificates for the work they have done and will continue to do for the basin. 

Generation Green is a work study program for local high school students that allows future stewards of the land to immerse themselves in education and forge a path for their own generations. 

Not only did Speaker Emerita Pelosi and others applaud the many stewards and agencies that keep the basin safe, including local fire protection districts, law enforcement, and environmental protection groups, but noted that collaboration is truly what led to the ability to continue protecting the basin and holding the summit. 

Nancy Pelosi and the graduating Generation Green Class.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

“On the magnificent shores of Lake Tahoe, the Golden State and the Silver State, Democrats and Republicans, public, private, and nonprofit sectors all come together as one Team Tahoe,” said Speaker Emerita Pelosi. “Nearly three decades ago, we launched an ambitious and effective initiative to restore and preserve this national treasure. Together, Team Tahoe will continue fighting to ensure that the Jewel of the Sierra can be enjoyed by all for generations to come.” 

The summit was able to explore the many challenges that face Lake Tahoe, ranging from extreme weather events, to the need for improved roads and public transportation, and the need for affordable and workforce housing. 

The booth fair included many local agencies and organizations for guests to visit with.
Miranda Jacobson/Tahoe Daily Tribune

It was also a chance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. 

“Lake Tahoe is a critical part of our region’s environment and our state’s economic success,” said Senator Rosen“With the heightened effects of the climate crisis impacting Lake Tahoe, it’s critical that we keep working to protect this natural wonder now more than ever. I was glad to be a part of this important discussion and I remain committed to taking bipartisan action to preserve this magnificent national treasure.”

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