Tuesday, May 14, 2013

So What's Next for Tahoe?

So far this year, we've been wondering about the future of Lake Tahoe. While SB 229 passed the Nevada State Senate last month and seemed to be moving in the Assembly, Governor Brian Sandoval (R) did not look amused. Rather, he seemed content with the continuing threat of Nevada pulling out of TRPA, the agency that oversees development and environmental stewardship in the Lake Tahoe region.

Yet today, we saw a stunning new development. Earlier today, Governor Sandoval announced a new deal with California Governor Jerry Brown (D) on the future of Lake Tahoe.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a joint statement Tuesday renewing their commitment to do what’s best “for the environment and economy of the Lake Tahoe region.”

Under the agreement amendments will be introduced to bills in the Nevada and California state legislatures that repeal Nevada’s planned withdrawal from the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact in 2015 and California’s proposal to re-establish a California Tahoe Regional Planning Agency in 2014.

The governors also agree to require consideration of economic conditions when adopting and implementing regional plans in the Tahoe Basin that straddles both states.

And the Nevada Conservation League had this to say on today's big development.

“The people of Nevada and California made it clear that protection of Lake Tahoe is a high priority,” said Kyle Davis, political director of the Nevada Conservation League. “We want to thank Governors Brown and Sandoval, Majority Leader Denis, Speaker Kirkpatrick and all of the other Nevada and California legislators that worked to make sure that both states were committed to the future of the lake.”

“We have been working all year to find a solution that would make both states happy while also preserving strong environmental regulation and protection for Lake Tahoe by keeping intact the Tahoe Compact,” said Darcie Goodman-Collins. “This agreement does just that. We hope for swift passage through both legislatures so that Tahoe’s communities can move forward with some certainty about their regulatory environment.”

So finally, the threat of obliterating oversight of development at Lake Tahoe is finally coming to an end. After 2 years of threats to the lake, all for the sake of corporate greed and political payback, some sanity may finally be returning to Carson City. So game over?

Maybe not. The latest update to the Tahoe Compact still faces a federal law suit. And environmental activists are still concerned about all the development TRPA has already been greenlighting for the region.

So perhaps SB 271 has already served its purpose...

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