Silver State comes through
Gov. Kenny Guinn has signed into law a bill that will eventually dedicate more than $56 million in Nevada bonds to Lake Tahoe Basin environmental projects.
AB285 contains Nevada’s share of the more than $900 million that it, the federal government, California, businesses and private residents must come up with in the next eight years to do the environmental work laid out in the 1997 Lake Tahoe Presidential Forum.
Under terms of the bill, the first $3.2 million in bonds will be provided over the next two years for a list of projects including a Sand Harbor Visitor and Administrative Center. That project is estimated at $1 million.
The initial list also contains $1.5 million for the state’s first share of extensive forest restoration needed in the basin. In addition, North Canyon Old Growth Habitat Restoration will get $130,000 and Sugar Pine Old Growth Habitat Restoration will receive $75,000 over the next two years.
There are also erosion control, beach rehabilitation and hiking trail projects on the first list.
The remaining $53.2 million needed for the program will be provided by state general obligation bonds between July 2001 and June 30, 2007.
And for the first time, the bill puts Nevada’s State Lands Administrator in charge of getting all the Nevada agencies together. Lands Administrator Pam Wilcox will also coordinate Nevada’s efforts with those of California, federal agencies and others involved.
Lawmakers who backed the projects will get periodic reports on what the money is being used for.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, which came up with the $900 million Environmental Improvement Program, is thankful for the action.
“Obviously, we’re extremely pleased with the support from both the governor and the Legislature in Nevada,” said Pam Drum, TRPA public affairs coordinator. “We think this bill enabled us to have some discussions with the administration and the Legislature, and we hope we were able to share additional information about the EIP and some of the needs on the Nevada side of the lake. It was an exciting opportunity to share information, and we’re extremely pleased with the support we’ve received.”
– Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Writer Andy Bourelle contributed to this report.
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