Newsletter: April/May 2017

FOWS celebrates 10 years representing West Shore communities!           

Our Mission: 
FOWS works toward the preservation, protection, and conservation of the West Shore, our watershed, wildlife, and rural quality of life, for today and future generations. 
The Friends of the West Shore (FOWS) was formed in 2007, primarily in response to concerns the community had about the impacts to lake views and adjacent residential properties from the Villas at Harborside development in Homewood. We soon became involved in trying to reduce the size of the proposed Homewood Mountain Resort, as well as other projects on the West Shore.     

Ten years later, FOWS has continued to grow strong thanks to your support and involvement. FOWS has become an established public stakeholder through participating in plan updates including TRPA's 2012 Regional Plan Update, Placer County's 2017 Tahoe Basin Area Plan, and the 2017 Regional Transportation Plan, advocating to reduce impacts associated with large development projects in our area including the Village at Squaw Valley and Martis Valley West Specific Plans, and working with Basin partners to address broad issues including forest health, transportation impacts, and public health and safety. FOWS has also initiated several volunteer programs (for example, the Tahoe Nearshore Dippers and the Pipe Keepers Program [now administered by the League to Save Lake Tahoe]) and collaborated with other public organizations and individuals to address issues that will impact Lake Tahoe and our west shore communities.

FOWS will remain diligent in our efforts to influence projects and plans and keep you informed. If you are looking to get more involved in planning for the future of the west shore, there are many ways you can help! In addition, if you belong to a Homeowners Association (HOA) on the West Shore, we welcome the opportunity to speak with you and your neighbors as you gather for your annual HOA meetings this year. Please contact us for more information.  

Last, but not least, FOWS looks forward to celebrating our 10-year anniversary with members and supporters as part of our upcoming community party this August. The date, time, and location, will be provided in our next newsletter, online, and in other correspondence - stay tuned!


Susan Gearhart 
President, Friends of the West Shore     

Regional and Local Planning Updates:
Transportation-related plans and projects:

Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Update:
On 4/26, the TRPA Governing Board approved the 2017 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). Although the RTP contains many positive measures, we are concerned it does not go far enough to ensure those measures will be implemented. FOWS recommended more aggressive actions to secure adequate funding and address peak period (e.g. Sunday) traffic (see 3/22, 4/10, and 4/21 comments). We will continue to support efforts to obtain funding, implement beneficial projects, and improve transit networks. 

Lake Tahoe Transit Master Plan:

The "Linking Tahoe: Lake Tahoe Transit Master Plan," which lays out future transit plans and needs, was recently released. Like the RTP, the Transit Master Plan will require substantial funding that is currently not available nor guaranteed.  
Measuring transportation impacts/benefits:

On March 22 TRPA's Governing Board (GB) approved the work plan for the Transportation Measures Working Group, which will compile information on how to best measure traffic levels in ways that are most useful for planning. FOWS remains an active participant in this process.   
FOWS will continue to encourage more aggressive measures to reduce traffic, fund necessary transit, and mitigate the impacts from new and redevelopment projects.  

Project Updates:
Homewood Mountain Resort:

Homewood Evacuation Plan:

FOWS has been in contact with the North Tahoe Fire Protection District (NTFPD) regarding the Homewood Evacuation Plan and will bring you updates regarding upcoming public meetings and other opportunities to learn about the plan.

Homewood Village Resort:

Construction of Phase 1 (at the north base) is scheduled to begin this year.

Lake Tahoe West (Forest) Restoration Partnership:
In our recent newsletters we have introduced this new partnership, which is aimed at improving the health of the West Shore's forests, and planning for long-term restoration. A FOWS representative is a member on the "Stakeholder Science Committee," where experts covering a broad range of subjects assess the best options for improving and sustaining healthy forests along the West Shore and beyond. The effort also includes a Stakeholder Community Committee. Meetings and related materials are available to the public.

If you belong to a Homeowners Association or other organization along the West Shore, project leaders are interested in opportunities to share more information and discuss the partnership at your next available meeting. Please contact Dorian Foug√®res, Ph.D., California Program Manager for the National Forest Foundation, at or (530) 902-8281 for more information.     
Fanny Bridge/SR 89 Highway Realignment Project:
According to the Tahoe Transportation District's website, construction of the new bypass and roundabouts remains scheduled for this spring and summer. 
Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan (VSVSP):
Placer County's attempts to dismiss a lawsuit by Sierra Watch regarding the VSVSP approval process failed when a recent court decision allowed the lawsuit to proceed. We will keep you updated as the legal process continues.
Martis Valley West Parcel Specific Plan (MVWPSP):

On 3/23, the Mountain Area Preservation (MAP) foundation hosted a "project mixer" to update the public regarding their current lawsuit (filed along with Sierra Watch and the League to Save Lake Tahoe) and status related to the MVWPSP. MAP is seeking to raise funds to cover legal costs and other outreach activities, and encourages the public to continue to remain engaged and express concerns to elected officials, media outlets, and others.

Alpine Meadows to Squaw Valley Base-to-Base Gondola:
No schedule for the draft Environmental Impact Report has been provided. Background information can be found here
Easy ways to help FOWS! 
Save Mart:
Did you know that up to 3% of your purchase at Save Mart and other stores can be donated to FOWS at no extra cost to you? A program previously known as "SHARES" allows shoppers to designate FOWS to receive donations earned through their purchases. Sign up for a new account or register your existing account through this link, then you simply provide your phone number at checkout and funds are donated to FOWS. It's easy and there is no cost to you!

Amazon Smile:
We've joined the Amazon Smile program; all you have to do is order from Amazon through this link and 0.5% of your purchase will be donated to FOWS at no additional cost to you!


We invite you to contact us to learn more, ask questions, or simply get to know the FOWS Board.  

Please contact Jennifer Quashnick, FOWS Conservation Consultant, at:, or Susan Gearhart, FOWS President, at: or (530) 525-0368. 
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