Senators Urged Sierra Club Not to Delay Tahoe Plan

Byline: Associated Press

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (AP) — U.S. Sens. Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein urged the Sierra Club not to delay implementation of a new plan to guide future development at Lake Tahoe — shortly before the environmental group sued over it.

Reid, D-Nevada, and Feinstein, D-California, in a Feb. 1 letter to the Sierra Club warned that millions of dollars in federal funding and the very existence of the bi-state Tahoe Regional Planning Agency could be jeopardized by delays in implementing the agency’s new regional plan.

The Sierra Club and Friends of the West Shore filed a lawsuit Feb. 11 in U.S. District Court in Sacramento. The group claimed the rules that the agency adopted in December will erode environmental protection of the mountain lake by allowing denser development and giving more control to local governments.

Reid and Feinstein urged the Sierra Club to “refrain from any actions that might result in the dissolution of the bi-state compact or set back our efforts to pass legislation to help restore lake clarity.”

“The adoption of the plan is the result of nearly a decade of work by TRPA, local government, residents, business owners and environmental groups and takes into account more than 5,000 public comments,” the senators wrote in the letter obtained by the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

“The plan reflects policy compromises of this diverse group of stakeholders with the overarching goal of restoring Lake Tahoe’s world-famous clarity while at the same time supporting desperately needed revitalization.”

“This compact … is vital to the preservation of Lake Tahoe,” Reid and Feinstein wrote. “If either state were to withdraw from the compact, as proposed under existing Nevada state law, the decades-long investment we have collectively made in Lake Tahoe’s restoration would be undermined.”

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