Forum anniversary event today |

Forum anniversary event today

The commitment of the two states encompassing Lake Tahoe and legislation sponsored by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Harry Reid will be the focus of a workshop this week, commemorating the two-year anniversary of the 1997 Lake Tahoe Presidential Forum.

“The presidential forum at Lake Tahoe two years ago sparked a spirit of cooperation between all the different participants,” Reid said. “From the federal government, to state and local government, to business leaders, residents and environmental organizations, there has been a remarkable collaboration focusing on a common goal: to preserve and protect Lake Tahoe. But just as important as the actual forum is the need to gather together each year to see how far we have come and where we still need to go.”

Lake Tahoe’s clarity has been declining at a rate of more than a foot a year for the past three decades. In 1997, at the request of Reid, President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore convened a summit at Lake Tahoe.

A $900 million plan to help stop the declining clarity was considered, and the Reid- and Feinstein-sponsored legislation introduced earlier this year is supposed to be able to bring $300 million to the basin over the next 10 years. The so-called Lake Tahoe Preservation Act will be discussed at a workshop Wednesday, as will the involvement of Nevada and California in raising their shares of the $900 million.

California allocated $20 million for land acquisitions and wetlands restoration projects for this fiscal year. Additionally, the Nevada Legislature approved a bill which authorizes $56.4 million in state bonds between now and July 2007. The action creates the mechanism for Nevada to fulfill all of its obligation.

Participants at the Wednesday event will include Reid, D-Nev.; Feinstein, D-Calif.; Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn; Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev.; U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Jim Lyons and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Felicia Marcus.

As a prelude to the event, Reid today is taking members of the media on a tour of environmental projects completed at Tahoe.

It will conclude at the Thunderbird Lodge near Sand Harbor.

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