New federal legislation will fund $29.2 million to protect Lake Tahoe’s environment.
"As the Tahoe Basin's largest landowner, these federal investments are an appropriate and a much-appreciated contribution along with state, local and private sector investments in the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program," said Tahoe Chamber Director of Government Relations Steve Teshara. "The multi-sector funding for EIP creates jobs and stimulates entrepreneurial innovations in science, forest and land management, and water quality protection."
Through Lake Tahoe’s federal delegation, Tahoe will receive $23.8 million through the Lake Restoration Act, plus $3.4 million from the previously approved Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and $2 million in Community Project Funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation in fiscal year 2022.
“Tahoe doesn’t belong to just Nevada and California; it’s a national treasure,” said League to Save Lake Tahoe CEO Darcie Goodman Collins. “We’re encouraged that decision-makers in Washington D.C. have taken this bipartisan action to protect, preserve and Keep Tahoe Blue, especially in the face of climate change and extreme wildfire.”
Together, the approved funding supports a range of Tahoe priorities, including wildfire preparedness, a need tragically highlighted when the Caldor Fire scorched 10,000 acres inside the Tahoe Basin in the summer of 2021. The appropriations include:
• $7.7 million for aquatic invasive species control and prevention
• $7 million for water infrastructure that supports fire suppression
• $6.5 million for watershed management
• $6 million for forest health
• $2 million for infrastructure improvements in the Highway 28 corridor
The latest funding provided through the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act represents a 148 percent increase compared to the previous fiscal year, underscoring Tahoe’s importance on the national stage and the many pressures it faces.
“The Tahoe region and our lake are under serious threat from the compounding impacts of climate change and increasing recreational pressures,” said Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Executive Director Joanne S. Marchetta. “This record level of funding through the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act will benefit our forests, meadows, water infrastructure, transportation, and the world-famous clarity of the lake. We are grateful to Tahoe’s congressional leaders and our partners in advocacy for continuing the shared investment in Tahoe’s future.”
For more than 20 years, the Lake Tahoe Restoration Acts have been a critical channel of support for the Basin’s environmental health, and a source of local jobs and economic activity. In 2021, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Rep. Mark Amodei of Nevada introduced bipartisan legislation to extend the authorization of the 2016 Lake Tahoe Restoration Act, which will keep the pipeline open for hundreds of millions of dollars to finish crucial environmental work left undone, and to make Tahoe resilient in the face of climate change.