League to Save Lake Tahoe column: Celebrating 20 years of stewardship, restoration
A healthy forest equals a healthy Lake Tahoe. Tahoe’s forests have been hit hard over the years by logging, wildfire, development and drought. They need our help to restore them as natural pollution filters for Lake Tahoe. It’s the kind of hard work that is best done on a cool fall day in Tahoe, surrounded by friends and neighbors.
The League to Save Lake Tahoe invites the community to join us on Sept. 23 for the 20th annual Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day and celebration.
If you have never attended Tahoe Forest Stewardship Days before, this is the year to join us — we are planning our best restoration event ever, with a huge celebration to follow. Together, we’ll pitch in for a morning of volunteer work to help restore the forest in the Angora Burn area, and then all participants will gather to celebrate nearby at South Lake Brewing Company.
In 1998, the League to Save Lake Tahoe hosted a hands-on day of environmental restoration — the first Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day. As the effectiveness of environmental restoration depends on repeated attention to damaged areas, the League has organized successful Tahoe Forest Stewardship Days each year ever since, in locations throughout the Tahoe Basin.
And each year, the community has thrown itself into the work: stabilizing stream banks, repairing trails, planting trees and shrubs and helping native trees thrive following forest fires.
Perhaps no single location is more associated with Tahoe Forest Stewardship Days than the swath of burned trees along Angora Ridge and Tahoe Mountain. When firefighters extinguished the last of the flames from 2007’s Angora Burn, a scar remained on the landscape and on the community.
Weeks later, hundreds gathered for the 2007 Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day at the burn site to begin the long work of restoring both our environment and our community. We came back to the Angora Burn in 2008 to continue planting trees and spreading seeds of native plants.
In 2016, community members returned again, lugging heavy tools deep into the burn area to thin brush crowding out native trees that had been planted in 2007 and 2008. By giving each tree more exposure to daylight, the volunteers hastened the recovery of the returning forest. By returning this year, we can further ensure the success of past volunteer efforts and continue to heal the landscape that was so damaged in 2007.
We invite you to visit keeptahoeblue.org for more information on how you can join us on Sept. 23 for the 20th annual Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day.
There is no more fitting way to cap off this summer’s remembrance of the 10th anniversary of the Angora Burn than by pitching in as a community to restore our precious forest habitats with hard-but-fun work. And we look forward to celebrating together afterwards at South Lake Brewing Company, where we’ll provide lunch and refreshments to all volunteers.
Together, we can Keep Tahoe Blue.
Darcie Goodman Collins, PhD, is the executive director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe, also known by its iconic slogan “Keep Tahoe Blue.” Watch a short video about Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day at keeptahoeblue.org/tfsd.