Emergency Declared Over Threat of Invasive Species to Lake Tahoe

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

KINGS BEACH, California (AP) - The bi-state agency charged with protecting Lake Tahoe has declared an emergency over the threat posed by the spread of invasive aquatic species at the nation's largest alpine lake.

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency governing board members say their passage Wednesday of a resolution declaring the emergency would expedite the planning and funding for the looming battle against quagga mussels, milfoil and other non-native species.

Since the January discovery of quagga mussels in Lake Mead near Las Vegas, officials have expressed concern about their spread to Lake Tahoe. The invasive mollusk can be spread by boats or birds.

Biologists say if the mussels reach Lake Tahoe, they would disrupt its delicate food chain. They also would clog water pipes, and damage boats and docks by attaching themselves to underwater surfaces.

Preventative strategies include boat washing stations where owners can wash vessels before hitting the lake. Other non-native species crowd out native vegetation and contribute to declines in the lake's famous clarity.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

New Nevada Law Targets High Credit Card Rates

CARSON CITY (AP) - A bill banning "universal default clauses" that have enabled some credit card issuers to boost interest rates by 30 percent or more has been signed into law by Governor Jim Gibbons.

The law targets clauses that enable some credit card companies to boost interest rates if a customer misses a payment on a completely separate account.

Several large banks, including Citibank and Chase, recently rolled back or eliminated universal default clauses due to political pressure in Congress. At least five bills are pending in Congress that would further tighten regulations on credit cards.

Nevada joins a handful of states that have banned universal default clauses. Many Nevada consumers still aren't protected since the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states can't regulate banks that are based out-of-state - and most cards are issued by such banks.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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