Pathway 2007 To Update Tahoe Regional Plan

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The document that guides land use decisions at Lake Tahoe will be updated by the bistate agency charged with protecting the lake's environment.

Julie Regan, spokeswoman for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, said new research and science will help shape the agency's new regional plan.

"Since the regional plan that guides every move TRPA makes is nearly 20 years old, we're taking a fresh look at our standards to make sure innovation and scientific advances are taken into account in our environmental goals and policies," Regan told the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza.

The regional plan, adopted in 1987, will be updated over the next three years through a process called Pathway 2007.

The agency will re-evaluate all nine of its environmental standards: water quality, air quality, soil conservation, vegetation, fisheries, wildlife, scenic resources, recreation and noise.

The goals form the basis for all TRPA ordinances and environmental codes.

"The way things happen at TRPA is based on these evaluations," said Washoe County Commissioner Jim Galloway, a member of the agency's governing board.

Bob Wheeler, president of the Committee for Reasonable Regulation of Lake Tahoe, is urging public participation in meetings on the update.

"This is going to be with us for 20 years ... We can't be apathetic about it," Wheeler said. "People have to get involved in the process - they are the stewards of our lake and our environment."

The TRPA will join forces with the U.S. Forest Service, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and other agencies to update the regional plan.

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 TRPA, which took an act of Congress to form, represents two states with varying environmental laws and standards.

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.


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