Laurie Johnson

Environmental Groups Keep Tahoe Wild

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Mountain Area Preservation, The League to Save Lake Tahoe and Sierra Watch are all local environmental groups. Utilizing strong grassroots efforts, they are diligently and quietly fighting to protect Lake Tahoe’s natural areas.

Brockway Campground Purchased by US Forest Service

The 120 acre parcel known as the Brockway Campground site was purchased by the United States Forest Service (USFS). Prior to the acquisition, the proposal called for 500+ sites and commercial amenities. This would have adversely impacted the ridgeline above North Lake Tahoe.

The acquisition of this parcel was critical to protect Tahoe’s watershed, recreational refuge for Tahoe Rim Trail, and public safety for wildfire. It took five years of advocacy and engaging the public to stop it. The California Tahoe Conservancy stewarded the acquisition process and the parcel was purchased by the USFS Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit in December 2020.

Martis Valley West Development Approval Rescinded

On September 13th, 2022, the Placer County Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing to rescind the Martis Valley West development proposal approvals. The same environmental groups helped to show that the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was not accurate and it was decertified by the courts.

The threat of 760 homes and 6.6 acres of commercial development on the North Lake Tahoe & Martis Valley Watershed was shown NOT to be an active land use application. The litigation ended the project, and the County had to abide by the court's request to vacate and set aside the approvals.

Palisades Tahoe Expansion Approval Rescinded

Last Tuesday, the Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously rescinded their approval of a development that would have heavily expanded the main lodge area of Palisades Tahoe. If completed, the proposal would have included a series of high-rise condos, a 90,000 sq. ft. water park, a rollercoaster, hundreds of parking spaces and employee housing.

Alterra had applied to Placer County for a permit In 2011 and it would have taken 25 years to complete. At the time, there was a lot of public opposition, but Placer County approved it anyway. Challenged by Sierra Watch, the group argued that the project violated state planning laws. In 2018, their first lawsuit was rejected and they appealed in 2021. The California Court of Appeals agreed that the development presented adverse environmental impacts. The court ordered Placer County to rescind their approval by November 22, 2022 and they did so.

While the landowners and developers could re-engage the County on the same or different proposals, these environmental groups will not back down. Their goal is to work diligently to protect the open space around Lake Tahoe’s with conservation partners. The local community has done an outstanding job of coming together to protect the natural areas of Lake Tahoe.

Contact me today to learn more about our efforts to protect Lake Tahoe. Working together, we can ensure Lake Tahoe will be enjoyed by generations to come.



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