January 2020 Conservancy Newsletter
With snow covering the Lake Tahoe Basin, winter provides time for the Conservancy to plan ahead.
Governor Gavin Newsom has addressed two key issues for Lake Tahoe in his recently proposed budget: climate change and the housing crisis. The Governor proposes $12 billion over five years to address climate impacts, including a $4.75 billion climate resilience bond. The administration also recommits itself to support housing development on appropriate state land. This support has driven a partnership of State and local Tahoe agencies to explore how Conservancy-owned asset lands can help address the housing crisis in South Lake Tahoe.
We enter 2020 with new leadership on the Conservancy Board. El Dorado County Supervisor Sue Novasel takes over as Board Chair, with Placer County Supervisor Cindy Gustafson serving as Vice Chair. We are hopeful for a year of progress for Lake Tahoe, and we look forward to working with our partners and community members on our common goals.
Executive Director, California Tahoe Conservancy
Request for Qualifications: Affordable Housing Developer
The California Department of General Services (DGS) has released its Request for Qualifications for affordable housing developers for a potential project near the South Lake Tahoe “Y.” Based on a collaborative effort to address housing affordability at Tahoe, the Conservancy is partnering with the DGS and the Department of Housing and Community Development to explore opportunities to provide housing on multiple sites in South Lake Tahoe. You can find the RFQ on the DGS website.
South Shore Housing Assessment and Action Plan Advances
Last fall, the Tahoe Prosperity Center (TPC) released the South Shore Housing Assessment, which found that homes, both rental and ownership, are becoming less affordable for local South Lake Tahoe residents. TPC found that only 21 percent of Tahoe residents can afford the median house price. Following a series of community meetings and online surveys, TPC and its regional partners, including the Conservancy, will roll out a Housing Action Plan to address housing affordability in March 2020. Check out the housing assessment and learn more.
New Video: Progress on Forest Improvement Projects in Placer County
The California Tahoe Conservancy has completed the first of two projects to restore forest health and combat climate change on Conservancy land along Dollar Creek in Placer County. Watch our new video to learn more.
The Value of Prescribed Fire
CAL FIRE and California State Parks have produced a video showing how prescribed burns provide an essential tool for preventing wildfires and promoting many ecological benefits for healthy forests. Watch now.
Tamara Wallace Joins Conservancy Board
California Tahoe Conservancy Board Member
Tamara Wallace, Mayor Pro Tem and City Council Member for the City of South Lake Tahoe (City), has joined the Conservancy Board. Wallace will represent the City, taking over for Brooke Laine, who departs her role as the Conservancy’s Board Chair. Voters elected Wallace to the South Lake Tahoe City Council in 2018.
An eight-member Board of Directors governs the Conservancy, including the State Secretary for Natural Resources, (or designee); the State Director of Finance (or designee); one public member appointed by the State Senate; one public member appointed by the State Assembly; one appointed representative each from El Dorado County, Placer County, and the City of South Lake Tahoe; and one ex officio, non-voting member representing the United States Secretary of Agriculture. View all the Board members.
Conservancy Staff News
Jessica Wackenhut Lomeli
Tahoe Strategic Growth Program Manager
Jessica Wackenhut Lomeli joined the Conservancy staff in January. Jessica most recently worked for a national nonprofit, Local Initiatives Support Corporation in Los Angeles, focused on community development. Her passions are focused on developing locally driven strategies to comprehensively address neighborhood revitalization. Jessica is a former Peace Corps Volunteer, is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies and Latin American & Latino Studies and a Master of Planning degree from the University of Southern California. She will lead the Conservancy’s Tahoe Livable Communities Program and will partner with Strategic Growth Council.
Forest Management Coordinator
Milan Yeates has accepted the position as the Conservancy’s Forest Management Coordinator. In his new role, Milan will work extensively with the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) to coordinate forest management efforts. He will also play a key role in implementing the strategies in the Lake Tahoe Basin Forest Action Plan. Milan has been a part of the Conservancy’s forestry team for over 15 years and brings a wealth of history and knowledge. Milan was a founding member of TFFT, and he has managed the Conservancy’s largest forest health and fuels reduction grant.
Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative Coordinator
Erin Ernst has accepted the position of the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative (TCSI) Coordinator. The TCSI partners aim to speed up forest landscape restoration throughout 2.4 million acres of the central Sierra Nevada. Erin joined the Conservancy staff in 2019 as the Forest Planning Management Specialist. Before that, she led ecological monitoring at the University of California, Davis, working on the USDA Forest Service (USFS) Central Sierra Province. Previously, Erin worked for six years as a forester for the USFS at the Tahoe and Lassen National Forests.
Upcoming California Tahoe Conservancy Board Meetings
The California Tahoe Conservancy Board will meet on March 12, 2020 in Sacramento. An agenda will be available on the Conservancy website ten days prior to the meeting.
Lake Tahoe in the News
Collaborative Group releases restoration strategy for Lake Tahoe’s West Shore forests, December 6, Sierra Sun
California Tahoe Conservancy board approves forest health, aquatic species and marsh restoration funds, December 13, South Tahoe Now
Tahoe Conservancy hosts affordable housing forum in South Lake Tahoe, December 13, Tahoe Daily Tribune
Tahoe Regional Planning Agency honors 29th annual Best in the Basin award winners, December 18, 2019, South Tahoe Now
Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team Year-End Review, January 23, 2020, YubaNet.com