November/December 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.
While it appears planning activities for projects that will affect the west shore have slowed down for the remainder of 2019, the winter/spring of 2020 will bring several important environmental review documents and other planning activities back to the forefront. Actions that FOWS will be following include, but are not limited to:

Planning:
  • Meeks Bay Resort and Marina Restoration Project
  • SR 89 Transportation Corridor Plan (Tahoma to Camp Richardson)
  • Tahoe Trail - West Shore (bike trail from Meeks Bay south through Emerald Bay)
  • West Shore Pedestrian Crossings Project
  • US Forest Service Winter Recreation and Over Snow Vehicle (Snowmobile) Travel Management Plan

Construction:
  • Homewood Mountain Resort (schedule/status uncertain)
  • Tahoe City Lodge
  • West Shore Water Treatment Plant

Legal challenges:
  • Martis Valley West Specific Plan
  • Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan

Please continue reading below for updates regarding these activities. As always, we look forward to your continued feedback and support, and encourage you to contact us with any additional ideas or questions you may have.

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

The USFS is developing alternatives based on comments received during scoping. Alternatives may include the proposed action (remove the marina, restore the lagoon, and add a new public pier and boat ramp to the south end of the bay), other variations or locations for the pier and boat ramp, and an option involving partial restoration of the lagoon and/or rehabilitation of the marina. Due to administrative issues surrounding contracts and funding, and the time it will take to perform an extensive environmental analysis, the USFS does not anticipate release of the draft Environmental Impact Report/Study until winter 2021. Learn more here .
USFS Winter Recreation and Over Snow Vehicle (Snowmobile) Travel Management Plan:

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is proposing the Winter Recreation and Over the Snow Vehicle (OSV) Project to designate areas and trails open to OSV (e.g. snowmobile) use. The project also encompasses various other winter recreational activities related to parking lots, access roads, snow play areas, and grooming for motorized and non-motorized trails (click overall image below for larger view).
The proposal includes changes that would better protect wilderness areas and improve non-motorized recreation experiences in certain areas. Proposed changes also include allowing snowmobile use in some locations next to neighborhoods where such uses are not currently allowed (see yellow areas in images below; click on images for larger view). In addition, we have heard concerns that there is insufficient parking for popular non-motorized winter access along SR 89 as a significant number of spots have been lost over the last decade; however, the proposed project does not include any increase in parking spots along the West Shore.

FOWS would like to hear from you regarding your thoughts and suggestions on this proposal so we may reflect them in our comments (simply reply to this email). We also encourage you to view all proposed changes here and submit comments to the LTBMU discussing what you like and/or don't like in the proposal by November 19th and what environmental and recreational impacts the environmental review (an Environmental Assessment ) should analyze.
Tahoma area
Near Kaspian Recreation Area
Ward Creek Area
Fanny Bridge/SR 89 Realignment:

The new highway segment, new Truckee River Bridge, and two roundabouts on either end of the realignment are now open . The replacement of Fanny Bridge and changes to the Tahoe City Wye will not occur this year and have been delayed due to a variety of reasons including weather, high lake lake levels, utilities, and contractual changes with the construction company. At this time, the Tahoe Transportation District reports the balance of the project will go out to bid in 2020 and be completed in 2021. Read more here.
Tahoe Trail - West Shore:
Starting in 2020, the TRPA and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) will be completing a feasibility study for the remaining section of the Tahoe Trail bike path along the west shore. This section would connect from Spring Creek Road (near Baldwin Beach/Camp Richardson) through Emerald Bay to Meeks Bay. The study will look at possible routes based on factors such as slope, grade, rideability, and more. An environmental analysis will then be completed.

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 expects to hold additional public meetings and construct the project in 2020.
State Route 89 Corridor Planning (Tahoma to South Lake Tahoe):

The draft SR 89 Corridor Plan, which will address options to improve traffic and pedestrian conditions in the future (especially at Emerald Bay), is now anticipated this winter as contracting issues and personnel changes created delays. TRPA anticipates another stakeholder workshop, public open house, and webinar on the project this January before the draft plan is released. Read details here .
Other projects: 

Regional and local planning updates:
"ONE TAHOE" Transportation Funding Initiative:
The Basin is impacted by 50 million vehicle trips per year, resulting in air and water pollution and threats to public safety.

ONE TAHOE is an initiative to complete funding on a long-awaited extensive transportation system that will enhance the traveling experience (choices of transit, bike/pedestrian trails, auto, water borne) throughout the greater Lake Tahoe Region while protecting Lake Tahoe’s natural beauty. For decades, funding available for a comprehensive transportation system has consistently fallen far short (current estimates indicate a shortfall of $67 million per year). ONE TAHOE aims to develop new consistent and reliable funding strategies. A list of ideas regarding funding mechanisms developed from public outreach to date is currently being analyzed . Public comments are encouraged!
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:
eScrip (previously SHARES): 
The eScrip 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 eScrip/S.H.A.R.E.S. program. 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