Public to give input on ecosystem |

Public to give input on ecosystem

Lake Tahoe residents and interested visitors are invited this week to participate in two workshops to help a team of scientists identify building blocks for a model of the Lake Tahoe ecosystem.

The team of scientists is requesting public input as it conducts the Lake Tahoe Basin Watershed Assessment, which is a $1 million project that stemmed from last summer’s Presidential Forum. At these workshops, scientists from the University of Nevada, Reno, the University of California at Davis, and the U.S. Forest Service will share their current understanding of the Lake Tahoe Basin ecosystem. They will present broad goals of the watershed assessment before opening dialogue with the public in small group discussions. Participants will have the opportunity to comment on resource issues, identification of relevant information and research literature, and opportunities for further collaborative work.

The watershed assessment will create a new data base that can be used by natural resource managers in the Tahoe Basin. The scientists will gather and assess existing data to evaluate conditions and to create a model of the relationships among different components of the ecosystem, including humans.

A number of management strategies could come from the watershed meetings, such as an assessment that will allow agencies to more effectively evaluate alternative forest fuel reduction strategies to determine soil erosion, air quality, and wildlife habitat.

The next one will be Tuesday at the North Tahoe Conference Center in Kings Beach. The workshop begins at 5 p.m. and should go until 9 p.m. On the South Shore, a similar workshop will be held Wednesday in Stateline at the Horizon Casino Resort convention center at 1 p.m.

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