NV Lake Tahoe license plate program generates $500,000 for the environment

A Nevada Lake Tahoe license plate
A Nevada Lake Tahoe license plate(The Nevada Division of Conservation and Resources)
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 11:28 AM PDT
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LAKE TAHOE, Nev. (KOLO) - The Nevada Division of State Lands says more than $470,000 generated from the state’s Lake Tahoe license plate program will be used to support the environment of the Lake Tahoe area.

The money will go towards aquatic invasive species removal, sustainable recreation and stewardship and more.

The Tahoe Resource Conservation District will utilize scuba divers to replace over 160 barriers on the lake bottom to eliminate one of the last aquatic invasive species on the Nevada side of the lake. The barriers will cover more than two acres of Eurasian watermilfoil plants at Logan Shoals Marina, and divers will use suction removal and hand pulling to maintain an invasive plant-free area over the next two years.

Other projects for the lake include:

Lake Tahoe Environmental Ambassadors:

  • The Sierra Nevada Alliance, a nonprofit organization, will support AmeriCorps volunteers to educate and inform the public on environmental issues affecting the Tahoe Basin. The “Ambassadors” will engage with visitors at trailheads in Nevada State Parks and disseminate information from the Take Care campaign, including fire safety and awareness, litter and animal waste tips, and trail and wildlife etiquette. The program will also host a variety of litter clean-ups with volunteers from Clean Up the Lake, the Washoe Tribe, and the Tahoe Fund throughout the summer.

Algae and Asian Clam Delineation and Control:

  • Using SCUBA divers and drone flights, the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center will continue their work to locate invasive Asian clams and metaphyton algae. This year, they will expand their work in Sand Harbor to five new locations including Incline Beach, Hidden Beach, Chimney Beach, Whale Beach, and will be working closely with the Washoe Tribe at Skunk Harbor. The project goals include developing a long-term and cost-effective method for controlling invasive Asian clams in Lake Tahoe.

Ecological Monitoring at Spooner Meadow:

  • Researchers from the Desert Research Institute will conduct a three-year monitoring study of the montane meadow near Spooner Lake in the State Park. Results from the study will inform future restoration treatments and improve ecological function of the meadow as part of the larger Spooner Meadow Restoration Project, a Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program project.

Decline and Regeneration of Whitebark Pine Trees:

  • A research team from the University of Nevada, Reno will examine the recent uptick in Whitebark pine tree mortality to determine how much of the increase can be attributed to blister rust, mountain pine beetles, weather conditions and other factors. Whitebark pine was listed as a Threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 2022, and this study will help land managers better understand how to enhance regeneration of this valued forest species in the Tahoe Basin.