Kingman is on the move: Longtime community advocate is helping a new conservancy |

Kingman is on the move: Longtime community advocate is helping a new conservancy

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune file / Alfred Knotts, left, El Dorado County senior planner, and Bob Kingman review plans for a six-mile bike connection between Meyers and South Lake Tahoe.

Longtime community member and recreation advocate Bob Kingman is saying goodbye to Tahoe, for now.

Kingman and his family have moved to Rocklin, two hours west of here.

He now splits his time between his 20-year post as program manager at the California Tahoe Conservancy and the fledgling Sierra Nevada Conservancy, where he is helping with outreach on their new strategic plan.

Kingman has championed several recreation projects at Tahoe.

He’s been a long-time cycling advocate and announced last fall that funding and planning had been completed for a bike trail linking Stateline and Meyers.

He also conceptualized the Tahoe Water Trail and brought it to reality. The trail outlines a complete around-the-lake route, and camping and docking points for non-motorized watercraft on Lake Tahoe.

“The potential for that to become a point of pride for the basin is enormous,” he said.

Kingman was born and raised here. When he was elected student body president of South Tahoe High School, he also earned a seat on the board of the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.

“It opened my eyes to the workings of the whole community,” he said over coffee at Alpina Cafe last week. “Since I was a little kid, I’ve always been drawn to public service.”

Kingman served on the board of the Lake Tahoe Education Foundation, and helped start several nonprofit bike advocacy groups, including the Tahoe Regional Area Cyclists. He has been instrumental at Tahoe Tomorrow, a nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life at the South Shore.

The decision to move was made by the entire family, Kingman said. He looks forward to spending more time and energy with his children Colten, 14, and Cambria, 3.

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy is at a critical juncture and looking for public feedback on its new five-year strategic plan. Based in Auburn, the organization was inaugurated in 2004 by Governor Schwarzenegger and received critical funding to the tune of $3 million last summer.

The SNC will provide funding and support to communities throughout the Sierra to help them preserve cultural, historic and natural resources. Unlike Tahoe’s conservancy, the SNC cannot acquire land, but can help other entities acquire it. It can also establish open-space and conservation easements.

“I’m totally elated to do the work I’ve done here throughout the whole Sierra Nevada mountain range,” Kingman said. He’ll be back often to play, he said.

“I won’t ever be 100 percent gone, and I’ll still play an active role in the water trail,” he said.

Still, his eyes cloud up when he thinks of what he’s leaving behind. His house on Barton Meadow is up for sale.

“My family loved this community – and it loved us back,” he said. “We thank them for it.”

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