Booze ban eyed for Truckee River rafters
TAHOE CITY ” Alcohol and rafting would no longer go together at certain times on a popular stretch of the Truckee River just north of Lake Tahoe under legislation being considered by state lawmakers.
The bill would give Placer County officials the authority to prohibit alcohol consumption during summer holiday periods between the Truckee’s headwaters at Tahoe City and the Alpine Meadows Bridge, county Tahoe Manager Jennifer Merchant said.
The proposal would affect “a person in a nonmotorized vessel” at times when the county prohibits alcohol on land along the same section of river.
Supporters said intoxicated boaters cause public health concerns and environmental degradation on the river, which flows more than 100 miles from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake near Reno.
Supporters include the River Ranch Lodge, two local licensed rafting companies, the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and the U.S. Forest Service, Merchant said.
The bill was introduced last month by Sen. Dave Cox, a Republican from the Sacramento suburb of Fair Oaks. It needs approval of the full Senate and Assembly before it becomes law.
County officials hope to win passage of the bill before the height of the summer tourist season.
“Our hope is to have it in place by the Fourth of July holiday,” Merchant told Truckee’s Sierra Sun newspaper.
The number of boaters on the river below Tahoe City is on the increase, Merchant said.
Officials counted 2,023 boaters from a bridge during a two-hour period last July 4, compared with 1,115 people the previous year, she said.