Advance team to scout Lake Tahoe |

Advance team to scout Lake Tahoe

Patrick McCartney

A White House advance team will visit the Tahoe Basin this week in search of the location for a presidential summit on the environment, federal officials said on Friday.

The Clinton visit is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, July 26-27, and will focus attention on such environmental issues as water quality, air quality and forest health.

One difficult task in preparing for a presidential event at Lake Tahoe, however, is how to select the right facilities to host the two-day session, say those close to the planning process.

“They are trying to spit it up, with one day on the Nevada side of the Tahoe Basin, and the second day in California,” said Jennie Backus, an aide to Nevada Sen. Harry Reid. The Nevada senator began lobbying Clinton last year to attend a Tahoe summit.

While White House officials are keeping any list of prospective locations close to the vest, Pam Drum of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency said it’s no secret what kind of place they will be looking for.

“The White House is interested in placing the president in a place that speaks to why he is here,” said Drum, the TRPA’s public information officer. “They want to avoid a large conference room, and instead would like to have him out where the issues are.”

The same holds true for the site of Saturday’s work session, Drum said.

While the advance team is here, it will work with local agencies representing the federal departments that will participate in the presidential summit, including the U.S. Forest Service.

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