Cash from Nevada land sales on the table for Tahoe projects
It was a $37 million “baby” being born and it was a painful process to watch.
A commission that advises the U.S. Forest Service on how to spend public dollars met Wednesday to discuss federal revenue earmarked for environmental restoration work at Tahoe.
The funding – which will amount to $300 million over eight years – is generated from the sale of federal land outside Las Vegas, called the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act.
Wednesday’s meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee was at times heated, but in general those involved kept in mind that the goal was to establish an important funding process that will be repeated for years.
Gone are the days when the committee meetings were sparsely attended. With the cash on its way, everyone in the 20-member group, which represents a variety of interests in the Lake Tahoe Basin, showed up.
A list of environmental restoration projects took center stage. They are considered top priorities for funding by the committee and the Forest Service and are in line to receive more than $14.6 million of the $37 million due to Tahoe this year.
Another $10 million out of the $37 million will go to local governments for erosion control projects. The rest of the cash will be dispersed to federal agencies other than the Forest Service that do work in the basin: Bureau of Reclamation, Natural Resources Conservation District, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Highway Administration.
That list of projects must be reviewed by a consortium of federal executives, called TREX, before they get to the desk of the Secretary of the Interior sometime in June.
– Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org