The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has released a draft decision for a project it claims will improve water quality and recreational opportunities at the Tallac Historic Site on the South Shore.
The Historic Facilities Best Management Practices Retrofit project would consist of forming better pedestrian routes, planting native plants in the area, repairing existing fences and installing barriers to put an end to off-pavement parking.
It would also include the implementation of a variety of water-quality practices, such as infiltration basins, planted swales and slope stabilization along the shoreline, according to the forest service.
“It helps us by providing a more sustainable recreation facility out there,” said spokeswoman Lisa Herron, adding. “But also, the water quality component is crucial to the work we are trying to do here in the basin. A lot of the agencies here are trying to improve water quality, so any projects we can do to improve that is good for the Lake.”
Other work would involve upgrading a pathway from the parking area to the beach at Kiva Point to meet accessibility standards, as well as removing some user-created trails in the area, building a restroom near the parking lot and installing a fence between the beach area and Taylor Creek Marsh.
Site circulation would also be improved by reconfiguring the entrances to the Tallac Historic Site, the Taylor Creek Visitor Center and Valhalla.
The three entrances would be reconfigured into two entrances at the existing Taylor Creek Visitor Center intersection and connect to the Camp Richardson Corral entrance by an internal road, located south of the old Yank Clements Road.
This would allow visitors to access everything on the historic site without needing to return to Highway 89.
Additionally, the area would receive a significant amount of additional parking spaces, including 20 at Kiva Point, 90 at the Tallac Site, and 45 at Valhalla.
The volunteer campground at Baldwin Trailer Park would also be upgraded and reconfigured to include 15 additional campsites, according to the LTBMU.
Herron said the upgrades are needed in a time when tourism in the area continues to rise.
“I think we’re going to see an increase in visitors,” she said, “and I think that’s what they’re thinking about in terms of long-term impacts to the area.”
According to the U.S. Forest Service, work on the project could begin as early as May 2015 and could take 10 years to complete, depending on funding.
The historic facilities BMP project is now in a 45-day objection period.