Tahoe license plates raise $350K annually to fund environmental projects
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — A virtual trail from Spooner Lake to Tunnel Creek is just one of the projects paid for by more than $350,000 a year in proceeds from Nevada’s Lake Tahoe license plate sales and annual renewal fees.
The Marlette Virtual Nature Trail will be created by the Nevada Division of Natural Heritage and will be available for free download to allow to tour the trail and to learn more about local plants and wildlife and experience the cultural and geologic history of the area.
Other projects funded by the license plate fees include:
SCUBA divers will continue their third year to remove litter and identify litter “hot spots” in the Lake: The nonprofit organization Clean up the Lake will conduct a series of dives to trace how litter moves around Lake Tahoe and document where it accumulates. Trash that is removed will be analyzed by the Desert Research Institute and the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center to help identify the major sources of litter pollution in the Lake.
Developing a Tourism Stewardship Roadmap: The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, along with other Basin partners, will develop a strategic plan to enhance sustainable recreation and tourism opportunities at Lake Tahoe over the next 20 years. The information will be used to prioritize recreation and tourism projects, as well as provide updates to the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program.
New monitoring and research programs for lake clarity: Two complementary projects will explore algal growth in the Lake:
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will launch a new program to monitor algae near Lake Tahoe’s shoreline. The program will identify locations along the lakeshore that are impacted by heavy concentrations of algae to determine whether boaters, aquatic invasive species, or other factors are contributing to losses in clarity.
University of Nevada, Reno researchers will study how watersheds and nutrients contribute to declines in water quality and increases in algal growth. This data will help inform strategies and solutions to help prevent the growth of algae around Lake Tahoe.
Tahoe Rim Trail visitor use monitoring: The Tahoe Rim Trail Association will track and analyze visitation numbers and gather information from public surveys to inform recreation needs along the Tahoe Rim Trail. Land managers intend to use the data to assess opportunities to reduce the amount of damage to the trail and surrounding vegetation.
Sensitive plant monitoring: A research team from the University of Nevada, Reno will create a monitoring program to study Lake Tahoe Draba, a rare high-elevation plant which only grows in three locations solely in the Tahoe Basin. Data collected during this project will inform future protective measures for the species and may help prevent its extinction.
More than 23,000 Nevadans are helping to protect Lake Tahoe through the purchase and annual renewal of their Nevada Lake Tahoe license plates. Since the first license plates were sold in February 1998, the program has generated more than $11 million through sales and annual renewal fees, funding more than 165 preservation and restoration projects on the Nevada side of Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe license plates are $61 with an annual renewal fee of $30. Visit dmvnv.com/platescharitable.htm to learn how to
If you purchase a Lake Tahoe license plate before April 1, you can also receive a free ticket to one of several participating Lake Tahoe ski resorts. Go to tahoeplates.com to learn more about the “Plates for Powder” program.
To learn more about the projects funded by the program, visit lands.nv.gov/tahoe-plate.
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