Sierra Business Council awarded $50,000 grant to improve Lake Tahoe Water Trail

The California Tahoe Conservancy board unanimously voted today to award Sierra Business Council (SBC) $50,000 to expand and enhance the Lake Tahoe Water Trail.

The Lake Tahoe Water Trail is the 72-mile scenic paddling route around the shore of Lake Tahoe. SBC plans to improve trail maps; increase wayfinding, trailhead signage, and outreach and education; launch a lodge-to-lodge Network; and establish a new Oversight Committee to develop a business plan to create a more sustainable program.

“The old Lake Tahoe exclusively had jet skis and motorboats; the new Tahoe encourages human-powered activities like kayaking and stand up paddle too,” said Conservancy Board member John Hooper. “It’s a shift I’m happy to support.”

Conservancy staff also presented today its draft updated grant guidelines to the Board, partners and the public. The new draft guidelines consolidate the Conservancy’s existing grant programs (erosion control, watershed restoration, recreation & public access, and wildlife enhancement) and enable the Conservancy and its partners to better implement projects consistent with the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program (EIP).

“The new process should encourage more cross-collaboration amongst partners to make sure that the highest priority restoration and recreation projects get on the ground as soon as possible,” said Conservancy Board member Larry Sevison.

Since 1985 the Conservancy has awarded hundreds of grants for projects on the California side of the Lake Tahoe Basin. As in the past, the draft Grant Guidelines promote competitive projects that provide multiple benefits within or across the six EIP-related Focus Areas: stormwater quality, ecosystem & watershed management, aquatic invasive species, forest improvement, sustainable communities, and recreation & public access.

Conservancy staff will also hold three public workshops on the Draft Grant Guidelines to answer the public’s questions and receive comments.

Workshop dates include:

South Lake Tahoe: March 10, 2015, 9:30 – 11:30 AM, Lahontan Regional Water Control Board Annex, Hearing Room, 971 Silver Dollar Ave., South Lake Tahoe, CA

Tahoe City: March 11, 2015, 1:30 – 3:30 PM, Tahoe City Public Utility District Board Room, 221 Fairway Dr., Tahoe City, CA

Auburn: March 18, 2015, 1:30 – 3:30 PM, in conjunction with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, location to be announced, webinar option will be available

Public comments on these Draft Grant Guidelines are due by Friday, March 20, 2015. Submit your comments to Scott Cecchi via email at Scott.Cecchi@tahoe.ca.gov, via fax at (530) 542-5567, or via mail at California Tahoe Conservancy, 1061 Third Street, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150.

Established in 1984, the mission of the Tahoe Conservancy is to lead California’s efforts to restore and enhance the
extraordinary natural and recreational resources of the Lake Tahoe Basin. For more information, visit http://tahoe.ca.gov.

-California Tahoe Conservancy

(Photo: GoTahoeNorth.com)

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