Aspen forest restoration kicks off this summer |

Aspen forest restoration kicks off this summer

Submitted to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Crews from the Forest Service and California Tahoe Conservancy will begin work this summer and next restoring about 60 acres of aspen groves near the Upper Truckee River and around the Angora Fire area.

The projects are made possible by $285,000 in funding from the South Tahoe Public Utility District, as part of a plan developed in collaboration with the League to Save Lake Tahoe to mitigate recycled water export line construction impacts.

Lake Tahoe benefits from both reliable export lines and from healthy forest ecosystems, but these values can conflict when export lines must be constructed in sensitive areas, said Rochelle Nason, executive director of the League.

“We feel that this is a great value for our customers,” said Dennis Cocking, public information officer for the utility district. “We think this is an excellent example of local agencies working together for a better Tahoe environment.”

The restoration projects will encompass about 60 acres. Aspen grove restoration is critical in areas disturbed by fire or construction because the groves provide habitat to multiple wildlife species. They are also a key element of a healthy, fire-resistant forest.

The funds were provided as mitigation for construction involved in the replacement of the district’s recycled water export line over Luther Pass.

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All recycled water is exported out of the Tahoe Basin so that it has no chance to pollute Lake Tahoe. The district pumps treated, recycled water over Luther Pass and applies it to ranch lands in Alpine County.