State Parks moves forward to relocate golf course
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Eight or nine holes of Lake Tahoe Golf Course could soon be moved into Washoe Meadows State Park as part of a controversial environmental restoration project.
California State Parks is moving forward with Alternative 2 for the Upper Truckee River Restoration & Golf Course Reconfiguration Project. The park system selected the option as its “preferred alternative” in the project’s final environmental document, which was released to the public Wednesday.
Removing the golf course, reducing the course to nine holes, shortening its length and leaving the course layout the same while putting erosion control measures in place were also considered in the document.
Alternative 2 is designed to improve lake clarity and wildlife habitat by moving the golf holes away from the Upper Truckee River and restoring the meadow where the holes are located, according to the environmental document.
“Golf infrastructure and holes would generally avoid the most sensitive areas adjacent to the river, which would allow the river room to function more naturally and would provide a more continuous riparian habitat corridor.”
The holes would be moved into Washoe Meadows State Park, which has drawn heated opposition from nearby residents and those who use the park for recreation.
A conceptual drawing of the proposed golf course arrangement shows holes seven through 13 moved to the west side of the river. Holes six and 14 straddle the river in the drawing.
State parks chose the alternative because it would allow for ecological restoration of the river and its historic bends, while allowing for an 18 hole golf course, according to the environmental document.
Minimizing the connection between the golf course and river, avoiding sensitive sites, improving the existing trail network and moving the golf course to lands with less impact on the river and water quality were also considerations of the park system in selecting the alternative.
Project manager Cindy Walck was not available for comment Thursday. Matt Green, California State Park’s Sierra District acting superintendent, did not immediately return a request for comment.
State Parks has received hundreds of comments on the project proposal, which has been in development for more than seven years.
Numerous people have said Alternative 2 strikes a compromise between environmental, recreational and economic concerns.
But many nearby residents and several conservation groups have opposed the option, contending it will negatively effect wildlife habitat and recreation in Washoe Meadows State Park.
The proposed project requires Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board approval. The project is scheduled to go before the board in December, but that timeline could change, said TRPA spokeswoman Kristi Boosman.