Tahoe seeks federal funds in D.C. | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe seeks federal funds in D.C.

Andy Bourelle

About $5.7 million in federal funds may be available for restoration and preservation efforts in the Lake Tahoe Basin, and local environmental officials want to make sure that money remains earmarked for Tahoe.

Representing two agencies, Rochelle Nason, executive director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe and co-chair of the Lake Tahoe Transportation and Water Quality Coalition, will be in Washington, D.C., today and Tuesday.

“I’ll be talking to all of Tahoe’s representatives to encourage their continued aggressive support for these critically needed funds,” she said.

Her trip is part of an ongoing process.

“We have a rotating presence back there through the year,” said Steve Teshara, director of the Lake Tahoe Gaming Alliance and co-chair of the Lake Tahoe Transportation and Water Quality Coalition. “The coalition, TRPA, the forest service – we all work off the same set of plans, so our message back there is consistent.”

The potential funds will come from the budget of the Department of Interior.

The House earlier this year approved an interior spending bill that included $2 million to finance projects intended to reduce fuel loads that could lead to catastrophic fires and $700,000 to help prevent soil erosion. The Senate is considering a version of the bill proposing $3 million for forest service purchases of environmentally sensitive land around Lake Tahoe.

Nason said elected officials are working out the differences in the bills.

How important is it that Lake Tahoe receive the money?

“It’s very important – all of it,” she said. “Both our sensitive land acquisition needs and our forest needs are very pressing needs that should be addressed at once.”

Later in October another group of Lake Tahoe Transportation and Water Quality Coalition members will travel to Washington, D.C., to urge legislators to earmark Department of Transportation funds for Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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