Tahoe license plates raise $470,000 for environmental programs

Mt. Tallac on April 10 as viewed from Snug Harbor.
Photo special to The R-C by Bob Buehler

Mt. Tallac on April 10 as viewed from Snug Harbor. Photo special to The R-C by Bob Buehler

Every year proceeds from sale and annual renewal of Nevada Lake Tahoe License Plates are invested in projects that help preserve and restore Lake Tahoe's unique natural environment.

This year, the Nevada Division of State Lands announced more than $470,000 in proceeds went to support environmental improvement projects.

Those project include

Aquatic Invasive Plant Removal:

The Tahoe Resource Conservation District will utilize SCUBA divers to place over 160 barriers on the lake bottom to eliminate one of the last remaining aquatic invasive plant infestations on the Nevada side of the Lake. The barriers will cover over two acres of Eurasian watermilfoil plants at Logan Shoals Marina, and divers will use suction removal and hand pulling to maintain an invasive plant-free area over the next two years.

Lake Tahoe Environmental Ambassadors:

The Sierra Nevada Alliance, a nonprofit organization, will support AmeriCorps volunteers to educate and inform the public on environmental issues affecting the Tahoe Basin. The “Ambassadors” will engage with visitors at trailheads in Nevada State Parks and disseminate information from the Take Care campaign, including fire safety and awareness, litter and animal waste tips, and trail and wildlife etiquette. The program will also host a variety of litter clean-ups with volunteers from Clean Up the Lake, the Washoe Tribe, and the Tahoe Fund throughout the summer.

Algae and Asian Clam Delineation and Control:

Using SCUBA divers and drone flights, the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center will continue their work to locate invasive Asian clams and metaphyton algae. This year, they will expand their work in Sand Harbor to five new locations including Incline Beach, Hidden Beach, Chimney Beach, Whale Beach, and will be working closely with the Washoe Tribe at Skunk Harbor. The project goals include developing a long-term and cost-effective method for controlling invasive Asian clams in Lake Tahoe.

Ecological Monitoring at Spooner Meadow:

Researchers from the Desert Research Institute will conduct a three-year monitoring study of the montane meadow near Spooner Lake in the State Park. Results from the study will inform future restoration treatments and improve ecological function of the meadow as part of the larger Spooner Meadow Restoration Project, a Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program project.

Decline and Regeneration of Whitebark Pine Trees:

A research team from the University of Nevada, Reno will examine the recent uptick in Whitebark pine tree mortality to determine how much of the increase can be attributed to blister rust, mountain pine beetles, weather conditions and other factors. Whitebark pine was listed as a Threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 2022, and this study will help land managers better understand how to enhance regeneration of this valued forest species in the Tahoe Basin.

More than 29,000 Nevadans have purchased or renewed a Nevada Lake Tahoe license plate. Since the first license plates were sold in February 1998, the program has generated more than $13 million and funded over 175 preservation and restoration projects on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.

A Lake Tahoe License plate is $61 with an annual renewal fee of $30.

To purchase a plate visit: dmvnv.com/platescharitable.htm.


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