Master plan will help avoid duplicating efforts |

Master plan will help avoid duplicating efforts

KINGS BEACH – Once competitors, Lake Tahoe’s key scientists are working together on a research master plan to avoid duplicating efforts.

While there is no target date for completion of the master plan, it is one of the main objectives of a newly formed Scientific Advisory Group, said Kevin Hill, hydrologist for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and member of the scientific group.

“With the symposia and workshops we’ve done up here, there’s a recognized need to link science to our decision-making processes and coordinate all the activities and make sure there’s no duplication,” Hill told the TRPA Advisory Planning Commission Wednesday.

Six scientific agencies signed what’s been described as a historic agreement in August 1999: TRPA, the Desert Research Institute, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, University of Nevada, Reno, and University of California, Davis.

Since then the group has met twice, Hill said, working out logistics of how the Scientific Advisory Group will function. The next meeting, to be held later this month, will begin to look at establishing a comprehensive research master plan.

“That is really high on my priority list,” Hill said.

Other research may later be brought into the group, such as the California Air Resources Board or Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Lauri Kemper, chief of Lahontan’s Tahoe unit and a member of the advisory commission, said she felt the group should develop the master plan as soon as possible.

“I know there is a need to get this comprehensive master plan finished in a pretty short timeframe,” she said.

Historically, research agencies such as UNR and U.C. Davis have been competitive rather than working together. That started to change last decade. A 1,000-page-plus Lake Tahoe Watershed Assessment, to be released later this month, is considered the first significant scientific collaboration among Tahoe researchers.

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