Longtime Tahoe resident pens environmental history book about Lake Tahoe

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — After acquiring nearly 50 years of institutional knowledge about Lake Tahoe’s environment, retired Tahoe City Public Utilities District Engineering Consultant David Antonucci decided to write a book about all he’s learned.

Environmental History of Lake Tahoe takes an in-depth look at the story of Lake Tahoe, starting with its native peoples to the pioneers to modern decisions that have shaped the basin’s environment. 

Antonucci has lived on Lake Tahoe’s West Shore at Tahoma for 47 years. His professional career started in 1973 and included senior manager and policy level positions in the public sector. He oversaw water pollution enforcement at Lake Tahoe for the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board between 1975-1980. 

For 20 years, he managed the Tahoe City Public Utilities District which is responsible for water, sewer, parks, and recreation services. He then worked as an environmental consultant.

“I had a lot of background in the environment and the history of Lake Tahoe, both as a participant and as an observer,” Antonucci said. “So, a lot of what’s in the book from 1975 on, is events and developments that I witnessed firsthand that weren’t necessarily reported anywhere.”

Antonucci said the book begins with a look at the Washoe people and looks at their relationship with the environment. It then looks at 1860, when loggers, hoteliers, ranchers, developers, and tourists imposed their demands on Tahoe’s resources, forever changing it for the generations that followed.

It also looks at the creation of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, why Lake Tahoe isn’t a national park and the impact the 1960’s olympics had on the basin. 

“What I wanted to do was explain how we got to where we are today,” Antonucci said. 

He went on to say that he felt most history of Lake Tahoe books leave out the environmental history, which is so important to what makes the basin special. 

The book can be purchased at Word After Word in Truckee or on Amazon. 

Antonucci is also the author of Snowball’s Chance – the Story of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games, The 1960 Winter Olympics, and Fairest Picture – Mark Twain at Lake Tahoe.

To learn more about Antonucci, visit

Longtime Tahoma resident David Antonucci recently published a new book featuring Tahoe’s environmental history.

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