Summit stresses need for collaboration
INCLINE VILLAGE — Attendees were receptive to the message at Monday’s Lake Tahoe Summit that there’s more work to be done to protect the lake’s famed clarity.
“People think we’ve solved the problems of Tahoe,” said Charles Goldman, a limnologist who was one of nearly 800 experts, residents and officials attending the 17th annual summit. “That’s excessively optimistic. It’s a work in progress that’s got to continue.”
Restoration projects and best management practices have been among the efforts aimed at improving the lake’s clarity. While 2012 marks the second consecutive year of clarity improvement, according to 2013 State of the Lake report, climate change and invasive species remain concerns.
“Each one of us here can make a difference, and it was inspiring to hear them charge us to do that — to do our part,” said Cindy Gustafson, general manager of the Tahoe City Public Utility District.
The importance of collaboration was highlighted at the summit, which featured a lineup of speakers: U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, California Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, with former Vice President Al Gore as the keynote speaker.
“I appreciate the fact that (Gore) talked about how Tahoe can play a leadership role not only in the country, but in the world,” said Steve Teshara, chairman of the Tahoe Transportation District board of directors. “That’s really important, because it isn’t just about Tahoe.”
Teshara added that he wished transportation had been mentioned more at the summit.
“A lot of the focus today was on the restoration act, but … transportation is big,” he said, in terms of lake clarity.
Speakers also mentioned fire safety.
“We have the American fire going, so the fact that it was brought up by a couple of folks today really is very heartening,” said Jennifer Montgomery, District 5 supervisor for Placer County. “It does have an impact on the basin, and it does have an impact on clarity of the lake.”