Lake of no worries
It’s the year 2104 and I’m swimming off some rocks on the East Shore.
The water is so clear and blue it has a purplish hue because its clarity runs deeper than it did in 1959 when scientists first started to measure it.
The lake improved with the invention of clarity tablets, which dissolve without a trace. Hundreds of years of damage repaired in just a few nights.
Just as the water is clear and pure, so is the air. Summer days no longer bring haze from distant forest fires into the basin. In fact there are no forest fires … ever. Foresters have long known how to thin trees so fires burn only long enough to help rejuvenate wildlife and plants on the forest floor.
By the time I switch from breaststroke to backstroke, I spot a bald eagle, its wings spread, above the lake. I see it eyeing what has to be Lahontan cutthroat trout in the water below.
That species of trout, native to Lake Tahoe, had disappeared years ago, pushed out by the Mackinaw. Now they are back with a vengeance. The species flourished with the help of fish biologists who used a special technique when they planted tiny Lahontan cutthroats in the lake.
“Boy is it nice to have everything the way it was before pioneers discovered Tahoe,” I say to myself as I dry off from my swim.
No pollution, no clarity problems, plenty of fish and wildlife.
Still in my bathing suit, I hop on Tahoe Transit to ride with an even mix of locals and tourists. The rail system wraps around the lake in 10 minutes without a sound. And that includes stops at Tahoe City, Crystal Bay, Stateline and South Lake Tahoe.
It’s nice to have a free transit system funded by tax dollars that once supported the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Since there are no environmental problems, California and Nevada shut it down.
It’s also nice to be able to enjoy the lake without guilt, unafraid of the future and proud of the work of the past.
– Gregory Crofton is the Tahoe Daily Tribune’s environment reporter. Offbeat is a regular feature written by staffers whenever they feel like it.