Washoe Tribe receives $305,000 grant for work in basin

The California Tahoe Conservancy has awarded a $305,000 grant to the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California for work in the Lake Tahoe Basin to improve forest and watershed health and reduce wildfire risk.

“The Washoe Tribe have been land stewards in and around the Basin since time immemorial,” said Washoe Environmental Protection Department Environmental Program Director Rhiana Jones. "Today, the Washoe Tribe are still active land stewards in the area and through collaboration and coordination with Tahoe agencies and partners, such as the California Tahoe Conservancy, we are able to maintain some aspects of our culture, our traditional land management practices, and our connection within the Basin. Thank you to the California Tahoe Conservancy for your continued support.”

The grant helps increase the Tribe’s capacity to participate in forest, watershed, and wildfire resilience projects at Tahoe, as well as to advance the use of cultural prescribed burning and to cultivate culturally significant native plants.

“The Washoe Tribe have called the Lake Tahoe region home for thousands of years and bring a unique and critically important perspective to the Conservancy and other Lake Tahoe agencies and organizations,” said Conservancy Board Chair and El Dorado County Supervisor Sue Novasel. “Ensuring the Tribe has greater resources to participate in forest and watershed planning will improve projects to restore the Basin’s natural resources and protect communities from wildfire.”

This grant supports the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California in restoring Washoe traditions and stewardship on the Tribe’s ancestral lands throughout the Basin. The grant will provide resources for the Tribe to participate in planned and current Basin projects, such as the Basin Community Wildfire and Protection Plan update, Caldor Fire post-fire recovery, and prescribed fire project planning and implementation by state and federal agencies. In addition, the grant will support the Tribe’s efforts to increase the use of culturally guided prescribed fire and to propagate culturally significant plants that are important for meadow, forest, and cultural plant restoration.

Funding for this grant comes from a Regional Forest and Fire Capacity grant provided by the California Department of Conservation.

The Tribe has operated Meeks Bay Resort and the neighboring campground since 1999 and is currently seeking support for an application with the Forest Service to continue operation over the next two or even three decades.

Those wishing to support the tribe’s effort can email mbr.feedback@washoetribe.us.


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