November/December 2018 Newsletter
Millions of people enjoy Lake Tahoe through non-motorized recreation activities (such as relaxing on the beach, kayaking, paddling, and swimming). The number of people seeking non-motorized recreation on and around Tahoe has continued to increase, leading to more crowded beaches, over-filled parking lots, and unsafe conditions along recreation-adjacent highways.
FOWS is concerned the recently-released Proposed Action for the Meeks Bay Resort and Marina, which would remove the marina, restore the lagoon, and construct a new public pier and boat ramp on the south end of the bay (details below), could reduce the extent of public beach available for access in this area.

While Forest Service staff stated that permanent restoration of the marina area to a lagoon is necessary to meet water quality objectives, the project proposes locating a new pier and boat ramp on a beautiful sandy beach area on the south end that is extremely popular with locals and visitors alike (click on image on right for larger view). FOWS recommends alternative locations be considered. Read below for additional information, FOWS recommendations, and the anticipated schedule for the environmental process.

We look forward to your continued feedback and support, and encourage you to contact us with any additional ideas or questions you may have. FOWS will remain diligent in our efforts to positively influence projects and plans and keep you informed.

Sincerely, 
 
Judith Tornese,
President
PS: Please consider supporting FOWS on this year's #GivingTuesday , 11/27/2018!
Project updates:
Meeks Bay Marina:

The U.S. Forest Service, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency jointly issued a Proposed Action for the Meeks Bay Resort and Marina, along with the Notice of Preparation/Notice of Intent (NOP/NOI) to prepare an environmental impact report/statement/statement (EIR/S/S). All associated documents can be accessed here .

FOWS recently sent an Alert regarding the release of the documents and input from our members. We appreciate the concerns, suggestions, and ideas we received. FOWS recently submitted comments on the NOP/NOI and included issues of concern and questions that should be evaluated in the environmental review based on the feedback we heard from you and other members of the public. The USFS currently estimates the draft EIR/S/S will be available next summer and the final EIR/S/S in February 2020.
State Route 89 Corridor Planning (Tahoma to South Lake Tahoe):

A report is expected this fall documenting the results of agencies' broad public outreach efforts this past summer. Agencies anticipate a draft Corridor Plan will be released for public review this winter. Read details here . FOWS will continue to participate in stakeholder meetings and keep you updated.
Alpine Meadows to Squaw Valley Base-to-Base Gondola:

According to staff, Placer County anticipates release of the final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS/R) in early 2019. Background information is available here .
Other projects: 
 
  • Fanny Bridge/SR 89 Realignment - The new bridge and bike path undercrossing have been under construction this summer but will not be open until 2019. The contractor is now working to winterize the site (view updated information here). The reconstruction of Fanny Bridge will occur in 2019.
  • Homewood Mountain Resort - There are no new updates.
  • Lake Tahoe West (LTW) Restoration Partnership - An assessment of the existing health of the West Shore's forests has been prepared and efforts now involve developing the most effective strategies for restoring forest health and resiliency.
  • Martis Valley West Specific Plan - After the California Superior Court released a decision on the MVWSP lawsuit last March, conservation groups filed an appeal and are now awaiting the court's ruling.
  • Meeks Bay Bike Trail - Construction is underway and project is anticipated to be completed this year.
  • Tahoe City Lodge & Firehouse - The Tahoe City Lodge is involved in a lawsuit with regards to parking and vehicle access impacts to a neighboring use. There are no updates regarding the old Firehouse.
  • Tahoe Keys Proposed Herbicide Use - Agencies are in the process of creating a stakeholder group to be part of a collaborative process to help guide the preparation of an environmental impact statement to look at various ways to treat the aquatic invasive species including chemical and non-chemical methods.
  • Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan - Sierra Watch is appealing a June ruling by the Placer County Superior Court that sided with the project applicant (KSL/Alterra). In the meantime, KSL/Alterra's attorneys recently attempted a legal maneuver to in essence 'punish' Sierra Watch for filing the lawsuit, however fortunately the court disagreed.
Regional and local planning updates:
TRPA Shoreline Ordinances:
On October 24, the TRPA Governing Board approved a new Shoreline Plan which regulates boating structures (i.e. piers and buoys) and boat use on the lake. Throughout the summer, TRPA staff and management worked with stakeholders including FOWS to address concerns and recommendations that were included in our comments on the draft EIS and subsequent fee proposals .

While FOWS still has some concerns about impacts to non-motorized recreation and other issues, we also commend TRPA for changes made to the final plan to address public concerns, including but not limited to:

  • Improvements to enforcement activities and partnerships;
  • Funding that will be used toward programs benefiting non-motorized recreation, including implementation of the Lake Tahoe Water Trail program and other public education activities;
  • Additional noise, air, and water quality monitoring;
  • Increased No-Wake-Zone protections for non-motorized recreation users; and
  • Incorporation of additional items into the boat inspection program to address noisy boats and clean boating practices.

FOWS comments on the final EIS can be viewed here .
TRPA Threshold Update:

The schedule for updating TRPA's environmental threshold standards has been delayed due in large part to the additional time needed to gather adequate scientific data; efforts will continue into 2019.
FOWS is looking for a few good men and women to join our Board!
Please contact Judith Tornese at jmtornese@aol.com for more information.
Ways to support FOWS:

FOWS is always in need of funds to support the use of our consultant who reviews and makes scientific comments to the Tahoe agencies to improve local projects.  Please consider a tax-deductible donation soon!

Save Mart: 

The eScrip Shares program allows shoppers to designate FOWS to receive donations earned through their purchases; up to 3% of your purchase at Save Mart and other stores will be donated to FOWS at no cost to you. Sign up for a new account or register your existing account through this link , then simply provide your phone number at checkout and funds are donated to FOWS ( click here for a short instruction sheet to get you started ) .

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: jqtahoe@sbcglobal.net , or Judith Tornese, FOWS President, at: jmtornese@aol.com .
Friends of the West Shore | www.friendswestshore.org