Tahoe views sought at community forum | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe views sought at community forum

Patrick McCartney

Tahoe Basin residents will have a chance Thursday to express their views about issues they want to see addressed during the presidential visit to Lake Tahoe in July.

A federal official confirmed Thursday that the Tahoe Summit will focus exclusively on the Tahoe Basin, and that earlier plans to address topics that apply to the entire Sierra Nevada have been shelved.

On Wednesday, a similar forum will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Incline Village.

The two forums are sponsored by the local steering committee for the presidential visit, and the Lake Tahoe Transportation and Water Quality Coalition. Comments expressed at the forums will serve as a base for cabinet-level workshops to be held in the area in June, and for the president’s Tahoe Summit, said Tom Tuchmann, western director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The forums are a bottom-up process of setting the agenda for the issue workshops and president’s visit,” Tuchmann said. “They will give everyone who wishes to present an issue to have a say. It’s the people of Lake Tahoe’s show.”

Each community forum will include a guided discussion of the three issues certain to play an important role in the Tahoe Summit: water quality, transportation and forest management. Tourism and recreation issues will be interwoven into the three focused discussions.

After the initial discussions, the steering committee will ask those attending to break into smaller groups and discuss individual topics.

Tuchmann said no decisions have yet been made about where the Tahoe Summit will be held. A White House advance team scouted out prospective locations last week, but Tuchmann said the list of possible sites has not yet been narrowed down.

A decision on the location of the Tahoe Summit will be made in two weeks, he added.

But officials in Washington, D.C. and the local steering committee have made progress on planning for the event, Tuchmann said.

One decision that has been made, he said, is to make presidential visit a true summit on Lake Tahoe.

“The event will be focused on the Tahoe Basin,” Tuchmann said. “Having said that, if people outside the basin have an interest in or responsibility for issues in the basin, we want to include them.”

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