Officials convene for Tahoe forum |

Officials convene for Tahoe forum

Adam Jensen / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Politicians of all stripes will descend upon the Lake Tahoe Basin this week for an annual discourse on the health of the country’s second-deepest lake.

The 13th Lake Tahoe Environmental forum will be held on Thursday at Zephyr Cove and “will feature a comprehensive discussion of progress and plans for protecting and preserving Lake Tahoe,” according to a statement Tuesday from U.S. Sen. John Ensign’s office.

Ensign, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, Rep. Tom McClintock, Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey and California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Mike Chrisman are among those expected to attend the forum.

Following the release Tuesday of an annual “state of the lake” report from the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, aquatic invasive species are expected to be a “big part of the discussion” at the forum, said Tahoe Regional Planning Agency spokesman Dennis Oliver.

The report emphasizes the growing threat aquatic invasive species pose to the lake, and a statement from UC Davis identifies the spread of Asian clams in the lake as “researchers’ top concern.”

Thursday’s event will be Ensign’s first public forum since his June 16 revelation about a nine-month extramarital affair with former campaign aide Cynthia Hampton. But Ensign spokeswoman Rebecca Fisher said the senator’s personal problems won’t detract from the summit’s goal of protecting Lake Tahoe.

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“I don’t feel that this will have any implications on the focus of the event,” she told The Associated Press.

Due to limited parking at Round Hill Pines Beach and Marina, participants are asked to park in the outdoor parking area behind Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, where BlueGO shuttles will provide transportation to the Round Hill Pines Beach and Marina starting at 8:45 a.m.

– The Associated Press contributed to this story.