The California Tahoe Conservancy was established in 1984 in order to develop and implement a comprehensive set of programs to affirmatively address resource needs in the Tahoe Basin, including the protection and restoration of the natural environment, especially water quality; enhancement of wildlife habitat; provision of public access and recreation opportunities; and management of acquired public land at Lake Tahoe.
In response, the Conservancy has developed and initiated implementation of a number of programs involving acquisitions, site improvements, and land management activities, and involving direct activities as well as grants, which require capital funding. Program areas include:
- Water Quality and Watersheds
- Forest Habitat Enhancement
- Recreation and Public Access
- Land Management and Acquisition
- Coverage and Marketable Rights
- Climate Change and Sustainability
Since 1997, the Conservancy's programmatic efforts have been focused on the State of California's commitment to the implementation of the Environmental Improvement Program (EIP) for the Tahoe Basin and to address rapidly declining resource values at Lake Tahoe as soon as possible. This commitment is reflected in various agreements between the State of California and the State of Nevada, the Federal Government, and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA); and in the budgetary priority placed on funding the EIP during the past twelve fiscal years.
In implementing its programs, the Conservancy uses a dual approach. First, the Conservancy may acquire land or implement projects directly using capital outlay funding for projects on Conservancy-owned lands. Second, the Conservancy may award grants to other public agencies and qualified nonprofit organizations for acquisition or improvement projects using local assistance funds as provided in its enabling legislation (Government Code Title 7.42, Section 66905 et seq.).
This dual strategy has several advantages in allowing the Conservancy to implement comprehensive set of programs addressing the full range of resource issues in the Tahoe Basin by allowing it to take advantage of the land ownerships and project implementation and maintenance capabilities of its grantees.