Letter: Invasive weeds must be stopped for sake of Tahoe (Opinion)

Dear Editor:

While the past year and a half has proven remarkably challenging, it has also demonstrated how incredibly lucky we are to call Lake Tahoe home. Having immediate accessibility to outdoor recreation was critical to providing some sense of normalcy during several COVID lockdowns, and being able to return safely to our homes after evacuation from Caldor Fire has made me more appreciative than ever.

I’ve called this magical place home for 40 years and have followed my passion to promote the timeless appeal of the lake to visitors around the country and world for decades. Having Tahoe as my playground for swimming, trailing running, dog walking, road biking and skiing is special. I enjoy open water swims (during warmer months, of course) especially in the still morning waters — it’s my favorite way to start the day. However, over the last few years the noticeable spread of aquatic invasive weeds has greatly impacted the shorelines. It poses a serious threat to lake clarity, hence the overall eco-system. It will also impact everyone’s personal enjoyment of our special home – locals and visitors alike, and in the process, negatively affect our tourism- based economy.

In January, a 3-year permit to test various treatments to determine the most effective control measures will be reviewed at the Lahontan and TRPA board levels for a vote. It is imperative to approve so a long-term management plan can be put into place to stop the spread for the sake of Tahoe’s environment and recreational future. We need to act now to determine a responsible, long-term solution to keep Lake Tahoe healthy, beautiful and attractive for all.

Carol Chaplin is president/CEO of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

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