TRPA board member receives award for environmental commitment
The Tahoe-Baikal Institute and the League to Save Lake Tahoe will honor longtime Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board member and former U.S. Congressman Jerome Waldie with the 2006 Dwight Steele Award.
Waldie will receive the award Friday at the institute’s annual fundraising dinner at Heavenly Mountain Resort’s Lakeview Lodge. The event is sold out.
The award was established in 2002 and recognizes an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding passion for and commitment to the long-term protection of Lake Tahoe and who embodies the environmental ethic exemplified by the late Dwight Steele, a former TRPA Board Member, Tahoe-Baikal founding member, and League board member.
Waldie, 81, is currently the longest-serving member of the TRPA Governing Board. He first took the post in 1992.
Waldie is an attorney and former member of the House Judiciary Committee that took the lead on Watergate impeachment hearings. As chair of the TRPA legal committee, he worked closely with former TRPA general counsel John Marshall and outside counsel in numerous takings suits brought against the agency, all of which were successfully defended.
Marshall largely credits Waldie’s direction for this unblemished track record. Waldie also helped negotiate a settlement mandating the ban of two-stroke engine use at Lake Tahoe – a policy that has resulted in a 90 percent reduction of gasoline pollution on the lake.
Currently, Waldie is playing a lead role in the challenging issues surrounding TRPA’s new Shorezone plan. He has consistently favored policies that promote public access and minimize impacts on the clarity of Lake Tahoe, according to the Tahoe-Baikal Institute and the League.
Waldie’s accomplishments at Tahoe were prefaced by a 16-year state and federal political career. A Democrat, Waldie was elected to the State Assembly from the eastern half of Contra Costa County in 1958 and served as majority leader for four years. He was elected to Congress in 1966 where he spoke out against U.S. involvement in Vietnam and advocated for health care reforms while compiling a pro-environment record.