Officials work on differences at Lake Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE - Officials are trying to work out differences of opinion so that there is support for a revised Lake Tahoe Restoration Act not only in the U.S. Senate, but also in the House of Representatives.

"We are continuing to work with Sen. (Dianne) Feinstein and her staff to reach an agreement that would bring needed dollars to Lake Tahoe and protect the interests of private property owners," said Richard Robinson, spokesman for Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif.

Feinstein, a democrat, earlier this year introduced a bill which has commonly been referred to as the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act.

The bill calls for changing the vaguely defined Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit to a unique status of Lake Tahoe National Scenic Forest and Recreation Area. With that, the federal government could authorize $30 million a year for Tahoe environmental restoration projects.

The act has support from numerous entities; however, opposition still exists.

Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., and Doolittle have indicated tentative plans to push a companion bill through the house, but the House officials say there are problems with some of the wording, including the name change.

Robinson said there are concerns that residents could lose some of their rights as land owners, and some believe uses of public land could be restricted.

"I can assure you there is no way the congressman will support the bill until he believes the rights of the property owners are addressed and public land will be used in the manner it was intended," Robinson said.

Sue Yang, chairwoman of the Meyers Community Round Table, said many people in the basin portion of El Dorado County are concerned about those issues. A Round Table meeting was held last month to give people a better opportunity to understand the bill and express their concerns.

"I think people understand the bill a lot better now," she said. "I don't think their concerns were alleviated. I don't feel they felt they could just walk away from (the issue)."


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