Major meadow clean up along the Upper Truckee River in South Lake Tahoe

Submitted to the Tribune
The meadows prior to the clean up.
Provided/City of SLT

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif.— The City of South Lake Tahoe Police, Fire, Public Works, and Parks and Recreation departments, Clean Tahoe, Pack Rat, and South Tahoe Refuse, along with private property owners completed a major meadow trash/debris clean up in the Truckee River Meadow North of US Hwy 50 in South Lake Tahoe. This area is frequented by people experiencing homelessness who are trespassing and over the years has accumulated a massive amount of trash and debris.

Most of the meadow is private property. The South Lake Tahoe Police Department has spent months through our STACS Officer and other agencies contacting people trespassing in the meadow and offering them various services. Those who refuse to leave or accept assistance were advised of trespassing and noticed to leave the meadow and take their trash with them.

Although the meadow was vacated, a massive amount of trash and debris remained behind. Last week, South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue fuels reduction and engine crews worked to cut access paths into the area.  This week, Clean Tahoe, Pack Rat, Public Works, and Parks and Rec began hauling trash and debris out of the meadow. The trash was hand loaded into wheel loaders and transported to a dumpster at the street.

The meadows after the clean up.
Provided/City of SLT

In all, over 200 cubic yards of trash and debris, and over 101 propane tanks were removed from the area.  The final part of the project includes abatement of fire hazards consisting of dense man-made structures of dried tree and willow branches. Access path restoration will also be done. This will be completed by South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue, Tahoe Douglas Fire, and a California Conservation Corp fire crew next week.

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department is grateful to all the agencies involved.  Funding from the State of California “Farm and Ranch Solid Waste Cleanup and abatement Grant Program” paid for all non-city resources on this project.  The grant is administered through the City of South Lake Tahoe and managed by Clean Tahoe.

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