Guide helps Tahoe homeowners: Agency provides do-it-yourself starter packet for best management practices |

Guide helps Tahoe homeowners: Agency provides do-it-yourself starter packet for best management practices

Amanda Fehd
Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Best management practices are being installed at a home in Skyland on Monday.

Homeowners may not have to wait for an appointment to get started on mandated erosion control projects aimed at protecting Lake Tahoe’s clarity.

The Tahoe Resource Conservation District is providing a new starter packet and revamping services after inquiries skyrocketed in anticipation of the looming Oct. 15 deadline.

The district is non-regulatory and helps homeowners complete best management practices, commonly referred to as BMPs.

The bi-state Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, which regulates building here, requires developed properties contain rain and snowmelt on site, with the goal of preventing soil erosion and helping protect Lake Tahoe.

The lake’s clarity has dropped from 100 feet in the 1960s to around 71 to 73 feet in recent years.

Phones have been ringing off the hook at the district since last fall. About 1,000 people are on the waiting list for free site evaluations, the first step toward receiving a completion certificate from the TRPA.

Most South Lake Tahoe properties are due this year, but at least 90 percent have not been completed.

There are 42,000 developed parcels in Tahoe. At least 90 percent of properties in California still need to complete their BMPs. About 70 percent in Nevada still need to do the work.

The projects usually involve installing rock-filled trenches around the dripline of a home, swales and drywells at the ends of driveways, and revegetating areas that are bare earth.

The district is still accepting appointments and has expanded services to help homeowners get started before they get an evaluation. A BMP starter packet is available through e-mail or in a hard copy.

“When people look through the packet, they will understand their property more and what needs to be done,” said Erik Larson, program manager at the district.

A full-time staff person now mans the phones and front desk to answer questions and assess homeowner needs.

“The homeowner could have a really basic question, and lot of those we can answer over the phone,” Larson said. “They might come in with a sketch of their house and go home with a better idea of what they need to do.”

BMP self evaluation

Questions homeowners should answer before starting work:

— Are there any sizable areas of bare soil which need landscaping or a duff layer to control dust and soil erosion?

— Are there any slopes needing stabilization on your property?

— Are there any man-made channels or gullies on your property?

— Are the driplines along roof eaves protected from erosion?

— Are the areas below all decks protected from erosion?

— Is the driveway area paved? The No. 1 BMP is paving legally established roads, driveways and parking areas.

— If your driveway is paved, does runoff flow off your property and into the roadside ditch or the street?


Contact Tahoe Resource Conservation District

— Phone (530) 543-1501, ext.113

— E-mail:

— Address: 870 Emerald Bay Road, 1/4 mile north of the “Y” on left

— Or fill out the form at

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