John Singlaub, who has headed the federal Bureau of Land Management's Carson City office for the past nine years, was named Wednesday as executive director of the California-Nevada Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
Singlaub was chosen by TRPA governing board members from three finalists. Others on the list included the agency's deputy executive director, Carl Hasty; and Elisa Maser, a project manager for a Reno-based consulting firm.
They were among seven semifinalists for the job vacated in April by Juan Palma. The list had been reduced to three following interviews conducted on Tuesday.
Singlaub said he sought out the executive director's position because of a deep concern about Lake Tahoe's future as "one of America's most important natural treasures." The 193-square-mile lake high in the Sierra Nevada is renowned for its cobalt blue and azure hues, stunning clarity and scenic vistas.
The new head of the bistate agency that oversees Tahoe's water quality, development and other environmental issues also said often-conflicting challenges the TRPA faces must be "carefully and delicately considered."
"Private property rights must be honored, pollution sources ... must be addressed and economic interests in the region must be considered," Singlaub said in a prepared statement.
Singlaub also said he's not afraid to deal with difficult issues head-on, and work to find a common ground on issues that divide various interest groups.
In a 24-year career with the BLM, Singlaub said he was able to help find solutions to various problems "in seemingly impossible situations."
The TRPA, which took an act of Congress to form, represents two states with varying environmental laws and standards. It sets environmental regulations and helps seek grants for economic and environmental development and protection.
The agency is constantly under fire from critics, including some who say the agency hasn't done enough to protect the region and others who argue it has wielded too much power and needs to have oversight.