October 2020 Conservancy Newsletter
The aspens leaves are gold and nights have turned cold at Lake Tahoe. As the season turns, it highlights the many changes we have faced over the year: our lives upended by the ongoing pandemic, while also living with the brute force of climate change as western forests burned.
I am proud of what our employees have accomplished, especially considering the year’s challenges, which for the Conservancy includes leadership changes. As the field season ends, our staff and crews are wrapping up successful restoration, recreation, and forest health projects big and small.
Looking to the future, we remain ambitious about advancing landscape-scale approaches to restore the resilience of the Lake Tahoe Basin, and exploring how we can help implement Governor Newsom’s new executive order on biodiversity. As steward of more than 6,500 acres of state land in the Lake Tahoe Basin, the Conservancy is already managing our land to withstand climate change, conserve biodiversity, and boost climate resilience.
To be sure, we face challenging times ahead. But this year has shown we can support each other while protecting and restoring this national treasure.
Jane Freeman, Acting Executive Director
California Tahoe Conservancy
Virtual Tours of Conservancy Projects
At its September meeting, the Conservancy Board and guests experienced virtual tours of three long-planned Conservancy projects now completed or being constructed.
Tahoe Pines Restoration Project – Virtual Tour
The Conservancy has finished restoring this 8.1-acre site, with a rehabilitated riverfront, new wetlands, and a new accessible trail that allows everyone to enjoy this public land.
South Tahoe Greenway – Virtual Tour
El Dorado County is constructing Phases 1b and 2 of the South Tahoe Shared-Use Trail, connecting south shore neighborhoods and Lake Tahoe Community College.
Upper Truckee Marsh Restoration – Virtual Tour
The Conservancy is wrapping up the first year of work on the largest wetland restoration in the Lake Tahoe Basin’s history.
Field Crew Updates
Through the Conservancy’s partnership with Tahoe Resource Conservation District, our forestry crew and restoration crews are having a productive field season. The forestry crew has been thinning overly-dense forest and removing excess brush and downed trees from the Conservancy’s small neighborhood lots. Their activities, as shown here on Conservancy land in Tahoma, improve forest health and help reduce wildfire threat for adjacent neighbors. Congratulations to Tahoe RCD’s Evan Osgood, who is now the Program Coordinator for the Conservancy’s crews!
Learn More About the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership
The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership is taking an all-lands approach to restoring the resilience of Lake Tahoe’s west shore to disturbance. This includes the forests, communities, recreational opportunities, and watersheds that stretch from the shoreline all the way to the ridgetops, from Emerald Bay north to Tahoe City. Check out this interactive story map to learn more about how Basin partners plan to protect and restore the west shore in the years ahead.
Conservancy Staff Updates
Steve Byrne joined the Conservancy in September as an Office Coordinator. Steve will collaborate with staff across departments to provide organizational and systems support for Conservancy projects and the executive team. Prior to joining the Conservancy, he had worked in commercial video and photo production as an associate producer and office coordinator managing production systems and logistics at Tahoe-based Novus Select. He also has experience creating and directing international study abroad programs for Putney Student Travel and National Geographic Student Expeditions, focusing primarily on conservation in alpine environments. Steve studied History, Spanish, and Economics at Wittenberg University.
Graham St. Michel
The Conservancy says farewell to staff attorney Graham St. Michel, who will soon start in a new role at the California Department of Conservation. Since joining the Conservancy’s legal team in 2018, Graham developed and refined Conservancy policies and procedures related to its Board governance, its role as a contractor and grantor, and the agency’s internal fiscal and legal operations. He provided key support for the Conservancy’s Tahoe Livable Communities and Land Management programs, including matters related to licensing and the Conservancy’s Land Bank. We wish Graham the best in his new role.
Upcoming California Tahoe Conservancy Board Meetings
The California Tahoe Conservancy Board will meet on December 10, 2020. This meeting will take place virtually, with a teleconference option, to protect the health of Board members, staff, and the public. An agenda and meeting details will be available on the Conservancy website ten days prior to the meeting.
Lake Tahoe in the News
CA State Parks receive $700K for Kings Beach Pier Project – Sierra Sun, September 4, 2020
Tahoe Conservancy grants over $500k for Forest health and wildfire programs – Tahoe Daily Tribune, September 17, 2020
Better together at Lake Tahoe Community College (Opinion) – Tahoe Daily Tribune, September 21, 2020
New Forestry Program headed to Lake Tahoe Community College – South Tahoe Now, October 9, 2020
New Date for Workshop on future plans for 56-Acre Project in South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now, October 25, 2020
Conservancy opens newly restored Tahoe Pines property – Tahoe Daily Tribune, October 27, 2020
Put Your License Plate Fees to Work for Tahoe
Show off your love and support of protecting Lake Tahoe by ordering your California Lake Tahoe license plate. 96 percent of the fees generated from license plate sales come back to Lake Tahoe, resulting in more hiking and biking trails as well as water quality and restoration projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin. New Tahoe license plate fees benefiting the Tahoe Basin are $50. The annual renewal fee is $40. Personalized plates are also available for additional fees.