Summit to discuss option of a 2011 sustainability conference at Lake Tahoe |

Summit to discuss option of a 2011 sustainability conference at Lake Tahoe

Staff Reports

LAKE TAHOE – More than 80 environmental leaders and advocates from a variety of local organizations and agencies will take a first step toward realizing a sustainable future for the Lake Tahoe Basin with a day-long summit next week at Sand Harbor.

The summit – to take place Thursday, Sept. 16 – will focus on planning a World Sustainability Expo at the lake in 2011, according to a press release from Sustainable Tahoe.

Guest speakers include: University of California, Davis, Professor Charles Goldman; Sierra Nevada College President Richard Rubsamen; David Hansen, of Embassy Suites hotel in South Lake Tahoe; Mark Twain impersonator McAvoy Layne; and Steven James, a Washoe Elder who will present a Washoe prayer.

The group, dubbed the Tahoe Sustainability Congress, will arrive by water ferry, kayak, bus, bike and electric cars, rather than gas-powered vehicles, according to the release, in an effort to “help realize the recently completed Tahoe Prosperity Plan, which seeks to position Lake Tahoe as a leader in Geotourism, Green Technology and Health.”

According to previous reports, the Lake Tahoe Basin Prosperity Plan still is in the works, with a final presentation expected in October before the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Congress participants next week will brainstorm on how activities that motivate acts of conservation can become the cornerstone of Tahoe’s new economy and prosperity, according to the Sustainable Tahoe press release.

Over the next 11 months, workshops like these will seek to evolve a geotourism menu in concert with green innovation from around the globe ready to showcase at a basin-wide 2011 Lake Tahoe Sustainability Expo, according to the press release.

“Lake Tahoe has emerged on the global stage as a model for watershed and lake stewardship. What has already been accomplished through improved conservation efforts at Lake Tahoe and Lake Baikal in Russia continues to gain momentum as an example of effective resource conservation,” said Goldman, who recently retired after 52 years of teaching and research at UC Berkeley. “This approach is a much better model for sustainable prosperity than the activities promoted during the last half of the century. This Congress should provide a further opportunity of how to improve the local economy while at the same time protecting this unique and incredibly invaluable resource.”

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