Senators want Tahoe advisory committee restored, concerned about retaining leadership at Forest Service

Kiva Beach at Lake Tahoe will be open for day use starting Saturday, Sept. 19.
Provided/Ryan Hoffman

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Senators from California and Nevada have sent a letter urging the Biden Administration to re-establish the Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Committee and to address senior leadership staffing issues within the USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), who will be hosting the 26th annual Lake Tahoe Summit on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at Sand Harbor, led senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) in writing a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, asking for the LTFAC to be re-established after it expired in 2017 and to work with the Forest Service on trying to maintain leadership at LTBMU which has had three supervisors in the past two years including the current supervisor Erick Walker who started near the end of 2021, Bill Jackson who lasted a year (December 2020 to December 2021) and Jeff Marsolais who left for the Eldorado National Forest in June 2020 after five years.

Kiva Beach at Lake Tahoe.
Provided/Ryan Hoffman

The letter said LTFAC played a vital role in developing consensus for Tahoe-related funding from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act.

“For nearly 50 years, LTBMU has seen a number of transformative Forest Supervisors at its helm. However, the increased attrition rate of LTBMU senior leadership is concerning,” the senators wrote. “We would like to work with you and the Service to explore opportunities to maintain the unique role and stature of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, including making Forest Service positions more attractive for future applicants looking to take on and stay in these important roles for the long-term.

“Additionally, we are concerned that the Lake Tahoe Basin Federal Advisory Committee, which served as a national model for how engaged citizens can collaborate with federal, state, tribal, and local partners to establish consensus on issues, was allowed to expire in 2017,” the senators continued. “As the community continues to work together to address the environmental and economic challenges in the region, we urge you and USFS to quickly re-establish the LTFAC.”

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