July/August 2019 Newsletter
Friends of the West Shore works toward the preservation, protection, and conservation of the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, our watershed, wildlife, and rural quality of life, for today and future generations.
Summer has started with a bang, as always! A lot of plans and activities are going on in our area that will affect the West Shore (including a new plan to improve pedestrian crossings on State Route 89); please read below for updates.

In the meantime, everyone needs to take the time to celebrate! We hope you will join us for our 4th annual Community Party and Fundraiser at West Shore Pizza on August 13. The party is an opportunity to meet and greet other West Shore supporters, enjoy great food, and just kick back and relax!

We look forward to your continued feedback and support, and encourage you to contact us with any additional ideas or questions you may have. Also, 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.


Sincerely,
 
Judith Tornese,
President
Project updates:
Meeks Bay Resort and Marina:

The Meeks Bay Restoration Project proposes to remove the marina and restore the creek and lagoon, add a new public pier and boat ramp along the south end of the bay, and incorporate other changes to the campground, parking areas, and circulation. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is currently working to develop alternatives based on public comments received during scoping last fall; release of the draft environmental impact document is now anticipated in the winter or spring of 2020 ( more information here ).

Meeks Bay Aquatic Invasive Weed control:

An invasive weed control project at the mouth of Meeks Creek, which flows into Lake Tahoe through Meeks Bay, will be implemented later this summer. (Note: This is a separate project from the Meeks Bay Resort and Marina Restoration).
State Route 89 Corridor Planning (Tahoma to South Lake Tahoe):

The Existing Conditions Report, which summarizes the results of data collection and analysis to date, is now available . The draft Corridor Plan, which will address options to improve conditions in the future, is anticipated this fall. The Plan will include extensive focus on congestion, parking, and safety issues at Emerald Bay. Read details here .
West Shore Highway Crossing Improvements:
Placer County is working on a plan to improve pedestrian and cyclist crossings along SR 89 from Tahoma to Tahoe City. The Preliminary Design Report reviews existing conditions and recommends measures to be taken at fourteen crossings.

Placer County is currently seeking public input on the proposal. The project will also be presented to the Tahoe City PUD (tentatively scheduled for 7/19) and the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council (tentatively 8/8). For questions, comments, and/or information related to upcoming meetings, please contact Ryan Decker, P.E., at (530) 581-6216 or RDecker@placer.ca.gov .

West Shore Water Treatment Plant

Construction of the West Shore Water Treatment Plant on Lodge St. and SR 89 is now expected in 2020.
Alpine Meadows to Squaw Valley Base-to-Base Gondola:

The final Environmental Impact Statement/Report, jointly prepared by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Placer County, is now available. The USFS and Placer County have both selected Alternative 4, which places the new gondola to the east of the originally-proposed route and outside of the Granite Chief Wilderness Area (GCWA). Background information is available here.

On May 30, the Placer County Planning Commission voted to recommend the Board of Supervisors (BOS) certify the environmental document and approve Alternative 4 (the BOS hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 23). Several organizations, including FOWS, expressed concerns about impacts to the GCWA, scenic quality, and other resources, and suggested revisions to reduce the impacts, however no changes were considered by the Planning Commission. It was also reported that 11 "Objections" were filed with the USFS ( learn more here ).
Other projects: 
 
  • Fanny Bridge/SR 89 Realignment - The replacement of Fanny Bridge and changes to the Tahoe City Wye will not occur this year. The new highway segment, new Truckee River Bridge, and two roundabouts on either end of the realignment, are anticipated to be completed this year. Read more here.
  • Homewood Mountain Resort - There are no new updates since our last newsletter.
  • Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership - The Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership is developing a strategy to guide forest restoration activities along Lake Tahoe's West Shore with the goal of increasing the resilience of the landscape and to protect against prolonged drought, climate change, and extreme fire. Committee members continue to review research and modeling results and provide guidance on a proposed restoration strategy for upcoming environmental review processes.
  • Martis Valley West Specific Plan - There are no updates since our last newsletter.
  • Old Tahoe City Firehouse - The property includes Former Fire Station 51, the Visitor Center and Tahoe Community Center located on Commons Beach in Tahoe City. In November 2017, the county began seeking parties interested in the reuse of the property to operate a self-sustaining business that promotes improved economic vitality while meeting the needs of the community. A feasibility study was initiated in 2018 to examine potential redevelopment options. Updates will be provided at two public meetings this month; the first public presentation will be with the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council on July 11 at 6:00pm (agenda). The second public presentation will be at the Board of Supervisors meeting on July 23 at 9:00am. Both meetings will take place at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach and the feasibility study will be presented. View Placer County's press release.
  • Tahoe City Lodge - There are no new updates since our last newsletter.
  • Tahoe Keys Proposed Herbicide Use - The Notice of Preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement was released on June 17. Comments are due by August 2 (read more here). A public workshop will be held in North Lake Tahoe on Tuesday, July 16, 5-7 p.m. at the North Tahoe Event Center (8318 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach).
  • Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan - There are no updates since our last newsletter.
Regional and local planning updates:
TRPA Threshold Update:

The TRPA Governing Board recently approved proposed organizational and process-related changes to the thresholds, however these changes do not affect the protection provided by the environmental standards. FOWS will continue to follow this process to ensure changes do not lead to reduced environmental protection.
TRPA Regional Transportation Model Update:

FOWS is currently participating in a stakeholder process associated with the 2019 transportation model update. Stakeholders have been discussing priorities and budget/schedule constraints and developing a list of short- and long-term improvements to the TRPA Transportation Model. Short-term improvements include improved calibration, updates to visitor and commuter vehicle trip data, and updated recreational attraction data.
Are you looking for an opportunity to volunteer to help Lake Tahoe? The League to Save Lake Tahoe is seeking West Shore volunteers to assist with the "Pipe Keeper" program, where community members are trained to assess and monitor the condition of storm water infrastructure and collect storm water samples for analysis during storm and snow-melting events. FOWS was a founding partner of this program. Training events are held in both south and north shore locations. Learn more here .
Other ways to support FOWS:

Amazon Smile: 

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

eScrip SHARES: 

The eScrip Shares program allows shoppers to designate FOWS to receive donations earned through their purchases; up to 5% of your purchase will be donated to FOWS at no cost to you. Sign up through this link .
* Unfortunately, Save Mart discontinued its participation in the S.H.A.R.E.S. program last month. However, numerous stores throughout California and online retailers ( see list ) will continue to participate!
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: jqtahoe@sbcglobal.net , or Judith Tornese, FOWS President, at: jmtornese@aol.com .
Friends of the West Shore | www.friendswestshore.org