Course at college tackles Tahoe’s unique issues |

Course at college tackles Tahoe’s unique issues

Amanda Fehd

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune/ Lake Tahoe Community College instructor Kim Carr teaches a class which introduces students to all the issues and agencies in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Some things at Lake Tahoe are pretty confusing.

For instance, who are all these government agencies and environmental groups and what do they do here? And what is all this talk about lake clarity, erosion control or controlled fires? And what in the world is the shorezone anyway?

If these are questions you have trouble answering, there’s a course at Lake Tahoe Community College designed just for you.

Called Lake Tahoe Issues and Agencies, the course attracts citizens of all ages, said instructor Kim Carr. For many years, Carr worked for the California Tahoe Conservancy, a state agency that buys and protects property in Tahoe for public use and open space.

“The course is for interested citizens who want to learn about their community in order to get involved, and be a part of shaping the community,” Carr said.

Excellent guest speakers and student presentations help course participants learn about a variety of topics, said Karen Kuentz, 45, who has taken the class twice.

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“I can’t think of anyone who really shouldn’t take it,” said Kuentz, who just started work with the U.S. Forest Service. It’s appropriate for “anyone who has an interest in the community here,” she said.

Topics this quarter have included mass transit possibilities, development planning and Pathway 2007, recreation, and government bodies like the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Student Kate Winston, who works for the conservation group Sierra Nevada Alliance, said she took the course because she’s starting to feel more obligation toward the community.

“It’s always good to be more conversant in the local issues,” Winston said. “Our organization deals with issues in such a wide range of places. It was good for me to get that background that maybe other people that have been working in the basin for a long time already have.”

The course will be offered again at LTCC next spring. Meanwhile, Carr is brainstorming an idea for a forum she wants to call Tahoe Talk, where people could remain informed on issues outside the classroom.

Carr is also offering a course next March that will focus on sustainable development, titled “Ecological footprints: Human impact on the planet.”

Visit for class schedule information.

– Contact Amanda Fehd at