Washington D.C.—Nevada Senator Harry Reid today hailed passage of the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act of 2011 (LTRA) out of the Environment and Public Works Committee. The Act, which Reid sponsored in 2009, would restore and protect the ecological integrity of Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Basin. This year, Reid is co-sponsoring the bill with California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. The LTRA will protect Lake Tahoe’s exceptional natural resources and ensure that the area remains a premier tourist destination.
“We must take every step possible to protect the international treasure that is Lake Tahoe,” Reid said. “Over the past decade, we’ve made progress by reversing the declining water clarity of Lake Tahoe, but we cannot let up. This legislation will protect Lake Tahoe’s unique ecosystem and ensure that it remains a top-notch tourist destination for years to come. I look forward to taking the next step that will boost our economy and improve our environment.”
The Lake Tahoe Restoration Act builds on successful restoration work already happening in the Tahoe Basin by authorizing $415 million over ten years to improve water clarity, reduce the threat of wildfire, and restore the natural landscape. The LTRA would specifically fund high-priority projects focused on aquatic invasive species prevention, storm water management, watershed restoration, Lahontan cutthroat trout reintroduction, and hazardous fuels reduction. The bill also allows for increased scientific study of long-term trends in the Tahoe Basin to help better understand how to manage this precious resource. Supporters of this bill include a broad coalition of businesses, local agencies and recreation and conservation organizations around Lake Tahoe.
Not only is Lake Tahoe a spectacular natural resource; it’s also an important economic driver for Nevada and California. According to a study published in 2008, more than 23,000 people living in the Lake Tahoe region are employed by the tourism industry and earn more than $1.8 billion in income from tourism and tourism-supported jobs.