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       Newsletter:    May 2013

Working Together to Shape our Future!
What's New...

"West Shore Ramblers"

Want to see the treasures of the West Shore?  

FOWS has a new Program for those of you who'd like to enjoy colorful wildflower walks, take in the scenery from some of West Shore's unmatched vistas, or stroll along the shoreline to simply enjoy the beauty of Lake Tahoe. Children are welcome, and excursions can be enjoyed with a guide or on your own.  

Golden Bear
Earn your West Shore Rambler Badge!  
We will have a beautiful patch for the Rambler's in Tahoe, just like our bears!

We will post more information on our website soon. You may also request early registration and information by replying to this email.

Let us help update you on the latest Planning Activities 
  
FOWS remains dedicated to community education as part of our Mission. Promoting the preservation and conservation of our environment goes hand in hand with educating the public about the environment, and activities that may harm our environment.  
 
We have been working tirelessly to follow the latest planning activities that will directly impact the West Shore and Tahoe City. Please let us share what we've learned and help you have a say in what the future of our environment and communities will look like. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and your friends. To learn more and/or set up a date, please write to Jennifer Quashnick, FOWS Conservation, at: jqtahoe@sbcglobal.net, or Susan Gearhart, FOWS President, at: susan@friendswestshore.org.
 
 
** We hope to see you this summer! ** 


The Pipe Keepers West Shore Report   
 
Polluted storm water often pours directly into Lake Tahoe during rain events, affecting our Lake's famed clarity and contributing to the algal growth that is cluttering up our once clear shoreline. This is the first winter in which dedicated volunteers - "West Shore Pipe Keepers" - have collected water samples from four drainage culverts (storm drains) during storm events. 
 
Two FOWS Board Members have been working with this program and we can update your group on this important information.

Thanks to League to Save Lake Tahoe, this monitoring data is collected with other Pipe Keepers and helps to increase the information available about what's harming our Lake.
  


Updates from the West Shore Planning Side...             
Homewood Mountain Resort (HMR):

In January, U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb rejected the claims of HMR's developer, JMA, that it would lose money if it reduced the size of the planned resort. He noted that the combined Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement (EIR-EIS) inexplicably failed to consider all streams of income, including condominium and hotel revenues. "The EIR-EIS misleads the public by suggesting that [ski lift] ticket sales revenue is the only relevant factor in assessing the financial viability of Homewood..." the judge wrote. He ruled that no construction could begin until a "legally adequate" EIR-EIS that properly considered a scaled-down project had been prepared and circulated. A recirculation would provide a 60 day comment period for us to raise our thoughts and questions. Read the Press Release.

 
HMR
Where are the slopes? 
Image from:   

FO
WS and other community members have also been extremely concerned with the increases in summer traffic congestion that would result from the project.

Stay tuned...
 
   
 
 

TRPA's new Regional Plan and what it means for West Shore 

Looking at this view from a hike down to Emerald Bay, saving Lake Tahoe is our priority. Did you know that decades ago, a 4-lane highway was proposed across the mouth of Emerald Bay? How was this even a possibility? Because there was no regional governing body charged with looking out for Lake Tahoe's environment first.
Local governments, by structure motivated by economics first, dominated local planning approvals. It was during this time the Tahoe Keys was approved - a subdivision which has forever devastated Tahoe's biggest natural
filtering system.

Congress amended the TRPA's Compact in 1980 to establish true regional oversight and environmental protection, halting the reckless  exploitation that occurred in the past. Yet TRPA's new Regional Plan sets us back over 40 years, again putting the local governments in charge of major project approvals, with big increases in new development prescribed under TRPA's new Plan. We can provide up to date changes which are occurring, and help you become involved in shaping the future of West Shore. Ask us about the Regional Plan Update and the Counties' current efforts to update local Area Plans.   

Susan R. Gearhart, Pres.
Susan@friendswestshore.org
530-525-0368

Join Us Now online
www.friendswestshore.org
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