Lake Tahoe Stewardship Plan
June 25, 2023 | Member Submitted
Originally published in the Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan
Tahoe is a place of aesthetic, cultural, and environmental contrasts. Spanning two states and five counties, encompassing diverse communities, and embodying a wide range of perspectives, this stewardship plan has been meticulously designed for and by the Tahoe community.
During the summers of 2020 and 2021, along with many special places across the United States, the Lake Tahoe region experienced an influx of visitors seeking release from pandemic restrictions in outdoor spaces. At the same time, a national migration from cities to mountain and resort communities drove Tahoe property values and housing costs well beyond levels that most local salaries could afford. The force of this phenomenon turned housing and labor shortages into crises. Traffic congestion, parking transgressions, environmental impacts and litter on beaches and trails, in addition to long lines for restaurants and disrespectful behaviors, pushed local unhappiness to a tipping point. Demands arose for urgent action.
A new collaboration of land managers, business owners, public agencies and nonprofits from across the region formed to address immediate recreation issues brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic. This group secured more than $ 1 million to expand Clean Tahoe’s litter program to the East and North Shores, launched an ambassador program to educate users, and launched a regional responsible recreation campaign through Take Care Tahoe.
While the pandemic sparked this initiative, there was widespread recognition that these issues were not entirely new and were in need of a long-term solution. Enter the Destination Stewardship Plan.